Digg was an interesting site as a news aggregate. As members saw an interesting item, they “dugg” it and submitted it to the site. Then items would be approved or disapproved by Digg users. As an item gained momentum amongst the community, it would get a momentary and sometimes huge traffic spike from Digg. Website owners loved it. Even if the traffic was short-lived.
Then there were the power or super-users of Digg that everyone pandered to and tried to become buddies with. That way, if you had an article you wanted to get attention to, you just dinged your “buddy” power-user of Digg and away things would go.
It was an interesting combination of things that helped or hurt an article do well on Digg… being dugg by a power user, being shared and re-shared by the community of users you associated with or an article that just appealed to the masses.
Aside from the internal strife that seems to have been documented else where, there was an issue I took note of that seemed click-ish or self-destructive for the site…
And therein, in my opinion, was part of the problem… the masses and their ability to up or down vote an item.
But as I use Digg as an example, this is a reflection on the process and a mindset.
When you give people the power to vote something up, or approve it or share it (that’s an implied approval, right?) you give the people the power to energize a subject or web article. But sadly, when you give the people the opportunity to down vote, the click mindset kicks in and you suddenly see sadly abused power. And the loss of validity or usefulness for a site like what Digg was.
The thing is I’ve not only seen it on Digg, but other sites that allow up and down voting. And down voting is the ugly side of humanity.
If the wright (wrong/right) person or few people don’t take kindly to something posted or said, an article can find itself buried in down votes and done. Even if it’s a good article. Once a power voter gets a hair up their dark side, the article is done.
I get down voting. But it can be abused and sad.
I’ve seen Digg posts get buried and it’s not just Digg. I’ve seen several sites where the down vote or disapprove option is there and misused. At one site, if you dared criticize one of the power authors, you were screwed, even if you had a valid point or were right. Heck, I’ve even seen when an honest question, deemed bad, buries a person’s status or their update.
Sadly, I think Facebook has it right. They have a “Like” option. And you like it. It might not be the best term to use, but generally speaking, it gets the point across. And with Facebook, it’s not really a global approval system. Rather, it’s just a quiet, “Hey gang of mine, check out what I “like” at this moment.”
And that is what works for FB.
Digg had potential, but after one or two down vote storms, I walked. If someone with any kind of leverage is going to either down vote an opinion they don’t like, or go on a down vote vendetta, a place like that didn’t appeal to me.
I moved on, as I guess others had too.
As it stands, Digg was sold to Betaworks and that org will be combining Digg with News.me. News.me is an app that delivers email to users of the best shared stories from Facebook and Twitter.
So now it would seem that Digg is going the way of the positive mindset of sharing. Too bad they didn’t figure this out previously.
It’s no skin off my back, but I’m betting some website folks who spent time cultivating the power users to their own end had a bit of depression set in as Digg started to fade of late.