When Digg V4 launched in August, 2010, the major media portions of the blogosphere embraced it. Mashable, Techcrunch, Engadget – all of them showed their adoration of the new Digg format primarily because it was designed to favor major media outlets and large blogs. They had an advantage, prompting Mashable’s Pete Cashmore to post a story on CNN titled, “The new Digg: Don’t believe the snipe“. This was posted on a day when Mashable had 19 stories hit the front page.
The support fell off quickly. Within a month, the bashing started. With 3 months, Digg was being declared dead by some of the websites that had heralded the move.
With the newest (and likely last) version of Digg, the larger media sites are relatively quiet. It isn’t just that Digg isn’t the newsmaker that it once was. It’s because they see the challenges. They see the huge mistakes that Betaworks made. By destroying over 14 million pages of content, they effectively took a site with a bum leg and chopped off the other one. They took the last component that made the domain itself worth the $500,000 they paid for it and wiped it clean. They took old code they had developed for News.me, slapped a different paint job on it, and hoped for the best.
The best isn’t coming, but that’s not the point.
There are certainly outspoken naysayers out there bashing the new version of the site. There are a couple that are saying nice things. Most are saying very little. They see the writing on the wall, that the new version of Digg is an utter failure and that the site is officially doomed. The next time they speak of Digg, it will be about the tremendous dropoff in traffic that’s coming. Soon.
Most were pretty hopeful. Change can often be good especially when the previous regime was so ineffective. The hope has turned into an uncomfortable silence. Now, everyone is just waiting for the eventual demise of a once-great site.