You know the story. Digg changed the site in order to bring it more in line with modern social media. The old school Diggers got mad and threatened to leave. Kevin Rose said, oops, we messed up, then he left and Matt Williams took over as CEO and now he’s trying to dig out from under the mess he’s been handed.
Williams decided that the best way to address the problem was to say hello and I’m sorry.
“As many of you know, the launch of Digg v4 didn’t go smoothly, and we’re deeply sorry that we disappointed our Digg community in the process. Thank you for your patience and your extremely candid feedback — we hear you loud and clear.”
Loud and clear? I bet. It’s a funny thing about the Internet, people think they own it. Not only own it, but that they have certain inalienable rights to it even when it’s free to them and costs a company a lot of money to run.
I’m not saying the new Digg is perfect. I liked the concept when it first went up but with time I’ve found it more confusing than the original. Posting is easier and the site in general feels more organized, but I feel like I’m missing out on a lot and I can’t ever find the links I’m looking for.
The problem is that Williams is talking about putting back many of the features that caused Digg to become a private playground in the first place. Like the bury button. Once the most powerful bookmarking site in town, people started looking elsewhere when a small percentage of the people appeared to have control of the majority of the site. You can bet it’s these same people who complained the loudest, because Digg took down the gates and made the playground open to all.
“Our top priority is to make Digg as good as it used to be.”
More to the point, they need to make Digg better than it used to be and better than it is now. They do that, not by bowing down to the loud crowd, but by using the talent they have to take what was a useful site and bring it in line with current social media trends.
Being a CEO doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. But in this case, it feels like Custer calling for a retreat and not an honest mea culpa.
What do you think? Does Digg have something to apologize for or are missteps just a part of rejiggering a popular website?