I certainly don’t know all about drainage and the process entailed to say repair a clogged drain, but when it comes to recently redesigned and controlled social news aggregator, Digg, I certainly am seeing a way to repair the “Digg” feature.
Since Betaworks took control over Digg and redesigned the site, there’s been mixed emotions. I have personally been a supporter of the new design and usability of the site. They definitely repaired a site that was cluttered, filled with trolls, and lacked an exciting experience to learn about top stories on the Internet.
Personally, I use to hate Digg and would never use it, but now I see a reason for visiting each day and being a repeat user…for now. Although, as a non Digg power, I believe another drastic action they could consider would be to remove the Digg button altogether.
Are You Crazy?
Crazy…no. Facts to support my opinion…yes. With the new launch of Digg and seeing how the community has been engaging with it, the statistics are clear as day that the Digg button is useless.
As you can see from a screenshot I took of the top story of the homepage, the shares on Twitter and Facebook demolish the action taken using the Digg button. Yes, the team over at Betaworks wanted to pull the best stories based on social shares across different networks. I think this is a very smart move and they should continue to do so and expand to other networks, like Google+ for example.
Although, for as smart of a strategy as this is, I also believe the need to use the Digg button to help assist in raising awareness for a story has decreased. Clicking that thumbs up button use to be an essential component of the site, but it doesn’t seem that way now and I have some reasons as to why.
Boo-Hoo, No Comments. Who Cares?
Personally, I like the fact that there are no comments on Digg at this time. They are in the process of working on a comment system that they believe will be a good fit, but I think the site is better off as is. There are the marketers and spammers who want comments for the obvious reasons, but those of us who just want the top news stories don’t care. (I understand some of you like the engaging community aspect when commenting, but there was more harm than good when this was implemented into the site in the past)
However, this is a reason, I believe, that the Digg button is not getting the activity it had received in the past. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m assuming that the inability to comment at this time, doesn’t give certain users much of a push to Digg a story because they don’t feel as connected to the site. They also may feel that if sharing on Twitter and Facebook is the determining factor of the top stories, popular stories, and upcoming stories, than why bother “digging?”
It’s A Popular Story According To Other Outlets Besides Digg
In this image from the popular section of the site, there are at least over 100 diggs, but like every story I’ve seen on the site, the number of diggs have yet to be higher than the Twitter and Facebook shares. Come on now. Would you really expect the number of “Diggs” to be higher? Sites like Twitter and Facebook are primarily used as the top sharing platforms while Digg is for reading top stories. Social Networks should be the driving force of Digg and the ability to thumbs up an article certainly can add to the stats, but it isn’t a determining factor anymore.
What If They Remove The Digg Button?
Would it still be Digg if that button was removed? I know there would be a public outcry because then power users would feel not only did they loose the ability to comment for the time being, but they can’t even Digg an article. Granted, this will never happen, but what purpose is it serving there now? None really, but they need it there to maintain the branding aspect and marketability of the site. Imagine a public outcry over loosing the Digg button? That would be amusing to me, but my question to those people is…are you using it now? Judging by the public statistics on the page…you’re not!
Now, I Throw It To You!
Do you like the new look and structure of Digg? I love it and enjoy the fact that top stories are controlled by what’s being talked about so we can see quality content as opposed to spam. We’re rid of trolls and marketers on the site and can stick to consuming new things we possibly may not know about. The comments are coming, yes, but I just hope it’s monitored and done right when it comes out. If it’s done in the wrong way, they’ll loose me as a user. (Not that one person is going to affect them) I have faith in the Betaworks team, though, unlike I did with the original Digg team. I’d really like to know too if you think the Digg thumbs up button really serves a purpose at this point and maybe share how they can make it relevant on the site, besides being just a branding thing?