Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Will 2007 Mark The End Of Digg?

Digg underwent a major upgrade yesterday but does this revamp mark the revamp of the brand or the beginning of the end. Digg is familiar to most publishers as a place to see not only what's hot and what's not but also as a site to detect your own viability in the online market by the number of Diggs something you are involved with gets. 2006 marked the explosion of Digg as one of the premiere social bookmarking sites but could 2007 be its downfall.

This explosion went beyond just an expansion in its service but Digg became known to not only all web masters and content producers but average Joe too. This Digg explosion could have gone two ways. The first involves an increase in ethical use of the service as a way to show others what they should be reading. The other, the way it went in my view, was the unethical way. Webmasters and businesses caught wind of this Digg explosion and looked to exploit it.

Getting Dugg to the front page of Digg means thousands upon thousand of free page views. Now this promotion is great if garnering Diggs is done properly but news has surfaced recently that this may not be the case. Companies as well as others are paying pennies on the dollar to get their pages Dugg by foreign companies that specialize in various form of web fraud. This traffic technique sure beats PPC programs like Adsense in cost per visitor so why not participate in it? The reason is simple: techniques like this undermines Digg validity.

Users see Digg as what is popular with others. Not what some click bank was paid to make look most popular. The undermining of Digg and other social bookmarking sites is the beginning of the end of sites that claim to be "public favorites" with little or no moderation. The problem can be solved easy enough with the addition of moderators but this presents them with another problem. Digg is proud of the freedom they grant users in submitting content yet relies on them to distinguish spam and invalid Diggs from their valid submissions. Something needs to change before Digg falls too far behind services that use extensive moderation (think Netscape) and falls out of the race for the top social bookmarking service.

2007 could be a turn for a better or for the worse for Digg. With scandals of paid users and paid Diggs becoming ever more common unless something changes soon Digg will have some bumpy roads ahead. So will 2007 be remembered as the year Digg shines or the year Digg dies: You decide.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Digg™ criticism from around the web. -