Will Digg rise triumphantly like a phoenix born of its ashes, or will it flounder about like a bloated city pigeon scrambling for dropped breadcrumbs? Digg's reboot is being closely watched as many wonder if the social news site can reclaim some of its lost glory. Their famous 'Version 4.0' debacle essentially ruined their site and sent their user base running. News.me bought the (gutted) website, staffed it, and rebuilt it in just six weeks. All of this is quite impressive, but it also has social media departments wondering just what they'll be working with now that the site has gone live.
1. Digg wants to network with other social media sites
Digg's desire to play nice with other sites has actually caused a bit of controversy. As of writing this piece, the only way to submit and vote on articles is to sign in via Facebook. The big three (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+) have buttons that feature prominently on the front page, which signals that the new owners are hoping users will publish their votes, submissions, and comments to help drive up traffic. Digg has responded to complaints, assuring aggravated users that they're working on a system that will work within the microcosm of Digg's site, but there is obviously a big push for users to share and broaden the conversation beyond Digg. So, if Digg does do well, we might see little snippets of conversation creeping into our Twitter/Facebook/Google+ feeds. If nothing else, this does ensure that most people using social media will be well aware of anything that hits the front page of Digg.
2. Simplicity is Digg's new unofficial motto
Take a look at the site and you'll see that it is just bare bones at the moment. And that is how the new management likes it. Digg will lack the customization of sites like Reddit, which allows you to subscribe to specific subsections of the site that are tailored to your interests. Instead it's going to cast a wide net and hope the users guide the best and broadest to the front page. Now if part of your social media campaign is submitting articles written by your boss or your company, this may prove to be a bit of a problem. Reddit isn't exactly friendly towards people who submit articles written by the submitter or someone the submitter represents, but they typically let is slide by. Submit to the smaller subreddits and you can usually bet on a handful more views. StumbleUpon works in a similar way, guiding its users to articles filed under particular interests. But Digg will only feature the best of the best, so unless you've written one heck of a piece, you probably won't see very many new viewers by submitting it on Digg.
3. In this point, things are very fluid at Digg HQ
Remember that the News.me team has built this site in six weeks, and according to general manager Levine '...we want to rebuild it again in another six weeks.' But that doesn't mean we should expect a completely different website in a month. The idea is that they'll test the waters with this launch, see what works, and then build from there. What occupies Digg.com right now, however, does give us a good idea of what the final product will eventually look like. It is simply up to social media departments and managers to keep up with the changes and consistently check-in. Their launch made (surprisingly) little noise, so changes and updates may not wind up being much more than a quick blip on our radars.
I'm very excited to see what Digg ends up becoming at the end of this build. They are clearly trying to regain some of that lost audience - some are rumbling at Reddit that they are tired of seeing memes and reposted pictures clogging the front page. While there likely won't be the mass exodus like we saw when Digg began to collapse, Digg will impact the social news scene. It's simply a matter of how, and of when.