There was a time when Digg was the place to be seen, but squabbles over preferential treatment for entrenched early Diggers and poor design changes saw them circling the drain. Enter new owners who firmly believe that Digg can be a player again.
Here’s a screenshot of the new front page:
Gone are the endless columns of text with number boxes showing how many times a story has been Dug (Digged? Dagged?). Now, it looks like every other content site with large photos, lots of white space, and uneven boxes. I’d call it Pinterest style except that online magazines have been using a variation on this style for awhile now.
The upside is that it’s clean and easy to read. The photos make the top stories inviting. The Digg numbers, which now include Facebook and Twitter mentions are less obtrusive, making the site less of a competition and more of a place to read the top news.
The downside? The Digg numbers, which now include Facebook and Twitter mentions are less obtrusive, making the site less of a competition and more of a place to read the top news. And (here’s the biggie), you need to use Facebook to login. That’s crazy. That’s like asking people to get a New York Times subscription in order to read The LA Times.
And I’d like to comment on the new submit process but I get an error message every time I try to access the page, so obviously there’s still work to do.
What it comes down to is everything that made Digg “Digg” is now gone. That’s life on the internet, I guess. Online content now hopes for Tweets and Facebook Likes, Pins and Stumbles — there are too many ways to share and I don’t know if Digg can squeeze its way back into the game at this point. What are they offering that we can’t get somewhere else?
Guess you have to give them points for trying to keep this internet pioneer alive.
Want to see how far Digg has come? Look at this 2005 screenshot courtesy of The Wayback Machine. VHS tapes at Walmart and how to play your iPod in the car. We’ve come a long way, baby.