After telling you all that Digg was the best social destination of 2007, the column made it onto the front page of the site. And while some comments echoed my sentiment--namely, that other social sites are, well, crap--the vast majority of commenters found a number of faults in Digg.
Although the general opinion of Digg faithful can't be judged based on comments on one story, can it be said that there is a Digg revolt in the works that is led by a group of individuals who are fed up with Ron Paul stories, crazy videos, and a broken comment system?
If the comments on that story are to be believed, a revolt could happen.
As one commenter put, "I think Digg has been the social site that went downhill the most in 2007." Is it true? Did Digg really go downhill in 2007? Obviously, I tend to disagree with this sentiment and I truly believe that Digg was the best social destination of the year. But why have so many disagreed?
Consider these comments on the Digg page (all of them highly dugg by fellow members):
"It became extremely slow and buggy, it implemented a horrible comment system, it introduced several useless new features while ignoring existing issues."
"Digg has gone far off course from the technology focused social news network it once was."
"I miss the old digg."
"Once you realize that Digg is NOT a social NEWS site, but rather a fun facts site, you see how worthless it really is."
Interesting, eh? Now, it should be noted that the page was not filled with anti-Digg comments and some were strong proponents of the Digg system. But with even more negative comments than positive, somewhat damning to this idea that Digg may be losing some steam is its immense success over the past year.
Even with a host of new additions that were not as well-received as the company would have liked, it enjoys growing traffic and, according to Compete, its page rank has increased 90 slots over the course of the year.
So if Digg is actually doing better than last year, why is there such an outcry of detractors? To be quite honest, it seems that the true revolt may be started at the grassroots level by a cadre of Digg zealots that were with the site at the beginning and watched it fall deeply into a state of "appealing to the mainstream."
Let's not forget--before the broken comments system and the utter inundation of Ron Paul stories, Digg was a tech site that catered to the geeky base. After realizing it could expand its footprint beyond that, the company catered to its own needs--namely, making even more money--and opened the site up to every kind of news you could think of. From there, it's as if the hard-core following has diminished, while the average person looking for a funny video or some interesting posts has found a new home.
Can you tell me the last time you saw a popular story on Digg that revolved around GNU or coding? I certainly can't. And while those topics may only attract a subset of individuals who are fond of those sort of things, it does speak to one issue--the hard-core Diggers of yesteryear may now consider the site to be the bearer of annoying commenters, wacky stories that would never gain traction anywhere else, and a few interesting tidbits of information every now and then.
If so, where has that base gone? StumbleUpon is growing at a rapid rate and Reddit is still a contender in the market. And as those sites grow, will they abandon the foundation that has made them a success, or will they stay true to their base? Time will tell. But if you ask me, these sites will follow the money--much like Digg.
Is a Digg revolt in the works? Possibly. But let's wait and see what happens and gain more evidence than a few comments before we make that call. Until then, keep Digging--it's still a great place to be entertained.