Digg is dead. It isn’t coming back. The current model is fine for some but the thought of using the site to drive traffic, to get a sense of accomplishment for submitting front page stories, or of getting some strong interaction from the comments have switched to be the duty of Reddit. The new Digg is just a normal website with some cool features. It isn’t special.
Update 2: The site is back up and back to 20-minute update intervals.
Update: Digg sped back up to its normal pace for a little while, then went down completely. API calls and everything are currently down.
For over 12 hours, the Digg front page has moved at half speed. Instead of the normal 10-minute interval between updates, stories have remained at the top of the front page for 20 minutes.
When Digg first rolled out “Staff Picks” late last year, I was extremely excited. Here was an opportunity for Digg to use their front page real estate to highlight stories that were not getting the traction that they would be able to get on other social news sites like Reddit or StumbleUpon where quality matters more than promotion. I thought, “Now, let’s get some unique, viral material on the front page.”
I was wrong. It has proven to be a wasted ploy to try to get the attention of sites that not only don’t need the traffic but who consider Digg a minor blip on their radar (if they even consider them that anymore).
Over the last week there has been a lot of criticism aimed at Digg.com and some of the publisher accounts and celebrities who are getting their news to the Top News section of Digg ahead of higher-quality content. Leo Laporte has been at the center of much of the criticism as his Google Buzz updates and podcasts have flooded the front page over the last week.
Mr Laporte, I owe you some kudos.
Today, Laporte switched his feeds of podcasts and Google activity to his Delicious feed. While this may not seem as natural as manual submissions, it’s a huge step in the right direction as he must actively bookmark stories to his Delicious account for them to appear on the page.
In other words, he is manually vetting and selecting stories that he finds interesting rather than feeding everything that Leo likes about Leo.
The result? A digging and submitting pattern much closer and more manual than anything other major recommended accounts are doing. Did Leo Laporte just go from public enemy #2 (sorry, Reddit is still #1) to hopefully the trendsetter that other major accounts should follow? We’ll see soon enough.
*** UPDATE: Digg is back up, now ***
After reports yesterday that Digg has ceased taking new registrants and speculation that Digg v4 was on its way, the site went down today with an error.
In past instances of planned an even unplanned outages, Digg has always put up a “be back soon” page with links to other sites. As of now, that is not the case. Instead, it’s showing an error that reads, “Http/1.1 Internal Server Error 11″.
A source at Digg confirmed yesterday that the New Digg would not be going live this weekend so it is likely some sort of unforeseen error associated with testing or migration.
Two sites, Reddit and Digg, went into emergency mode today as Reddit had technical difficulties preventing users from submitting new content to the site.
reddit is in “emergency read-only mode” right now. you won’t be able to log in. we’re sorry, and are working frantically to fix the problem.
Other social news sites such as Digg experienced a drop in the quality of content as one of the primary sources for content, Reddit, went into “read-only mode” making it challenging for many top Digg users to find content. The front page of Digg has not yet experienced the fallout as most of the top images today were from yesterday’s Reddit front page, but tomorrow is expected to be a low-Digg-count-day with Redditors unable to supply Digg users with content to submit.
Many Redditors were seen outside today. Some made their monthly trip to the grocery store, barber shops, and liquor stores early, while others simply experienced external weather conditions for the first time in ages.