“The Digg Effect”

The Digg Effect has always been what occurs to a web server which cannot handle the traffic of making it to the front page. It’s beginning to take on new meaning, now.

I tried the new Digg a long time ago. I spent a couple of hours playing with it after I was accepted a few months back, and I have to say that I didn’t see a lot of difference. Nothing like we saw when it went live, that is. There were no overwhelming amounts of stories from large media outlets (that I recall), though the stories on my front page were different. At the time, I dismissed it. “A mostly UI upgrade” were my thoughts.

After the public launch of the new Digg, things became a little crazy. As you know, I’m sure, major media outlets took over the front page, driving user selected news to oblivion. Much of what we went to Digg to see in the past (usually NOTHING that resembles the mainstream media) was instantly gone. So how did this happen?

In it’s attempt to make Digg a better place to socialize, it overlooked it’s own users and decided they knew what was best. That’s a tough call for any company to make, but they do it every day. That’s business. You might screw up along the way and alienate your users, just be ready to make it all better if you do.

Digg has already made some changes. Kevin Rose was replaced as CEO, we’re getting back the “Upcoming News” tab, etc. So why does the backlash continue? Geeks don’t like people messing up the things they love. Digg was turned upside down by the changes, and the users didn’t like it. Some moved on to Reddit, some stayed in the comments posting filth that would make a pirate (ARRRRR!) cringe. Will things get back to normal? I’m sure. I still like Digg, and I will continue to use it, but I hope that the company is ready for “the Digg effect” to change from a phrase which represents the power of Digg, to one that expresses a gaffe of monumental proportions.

Here’s to you Digg, you’re taking quite a beating right now.