Today, Digg’s Twitter account posted a link to ReThinkDigg.com in order to begin to generate hype for an essential “reboot” of Digg. The launch date for the “new Digg” is slated for August 1, 2012 with the tweet counting down with a mere “12 days” followed by the link.
The move follows Betaworks’ acquisition of Digg for $500,000 (stark contrast to Instagram’s $1B cost) and was preceded by a “Hello, world” post on the same @digg Twitter account. But the implications of the move are deeper than they appear.
The page promises to “make Digg a startup again” by recycling the domain name (along with its associated pagerank and Alexa rank) with a new from-scratch v1 UI.
Furthermore, the new engineers are seeking community involvement in creating the new site through the use of surveys asking users questions like what phone they use. Between that and the Twitter campaign, it looks like the new Digg will target the mobile Twitter niche harder than before.
However, as several note even on the Rethink Digg site’s comments, is Digg even noteworthy anymore?
Betaworks essentially inherited pagerank and a top-200 Alexa site ranking by buying Digg. Scrapping the entire site to start fresh is a means of using any momentum the name has as an advantage while baptizing the site of any negative press. This is piggybacking at its finest, to generate new hype for an old bag.
The negative press I speak of includes paying for Diggs (a la Facebook companies sock-puppetting Likes) and organized “Digg mobs” with the most notable example being the “Digg Patriots” Yahoo! mailing list that buried liberal posts within Digg’s former “upcoming” module.
In addition, few forget the AACS encryption key controversy a few years back where a Blu-Ray encryption key was censored on the site, only for the users to revolt and overwhelm the site, causing the then-admins to reverse their decisions publicly.
All that negative press has stuck to Digg over the years like gum under a desk, and Betaworks is looking to turn their half a million investment around by baptizing it via a Hollywood-style reboot of sorts (and widely publicizing the move).
A new Digg is upon us, though few people really care about the site anymore following its downfall. Recall also that the site shot itself in the foot by closing its API just like MySpace and, as a present example, Twitter.
What do you think of the attempted new Digg v1? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.
Chris started at The Coffee Desk during its hey-day as an infrequent guest author who slowly grew to becoming a mainline contributor. He is a business grad student at USC who is very fluent with technology and the ever-evolving web, and has priceless contributions to Silicon News as a result. He is known for looking at the "big picture" of things, namely new technological trends, and analyzing them from a business perspective that so many IT professionals tend to glaze over in their focus on the technology's specifics.
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