Digg Revolt: Digg’s dependancy on its users nears addiction

This last week has had some interesting events occur over the big revolt against Digg. Now, big news sites like Wired, NY Times, etc. have posted stories, many people are talking about it on twitter, etc. The question is whether or not these constant issues being brought to the forefront are going to effect the Digg site and brand in a negative way, especially in a time when it seems Digg is entertaining a buyout opportunity.
Over the past month I have seen this topic thrown around in person, via twitter and now a live stream on Ustream – The Drill Down (brought to you by Andrew Sorcini, Muhammad Saleem and Reg Saddler). The Ustream podcast is now available for download, RevoltNation, Part 2: Jay and Kevin Respond, this was basically the tempers of top Digg users flaring and demanding some answers. Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson graciously appeared on the show to talk about all of hte issues at hand, including rumors of an “auto-bury”, the banning of digg users, the un-responsiveness and finally, the ever-infamous algorithm change. (For more on the algorithm change, see Kevin Rose’s post: Digg: New Algorithm Changes)
Now, I am not a top Digg user or a power user even for that matter but I still find this debate very interesting, because I have always loved using Digg. But, I have been finding certain things really pestering me lately. I’ve noticed that the user base is becoming almost like that of Slashdot, very quick to judge and with only one mindset. Secondly, the algo changes seemed a bit unnecessary, even with those using Digg as a marketing and SEO tool. Jay did mention that the algorithm usually takes a few days to finally work itself out, but, making that large a change is just too much too soon. I could understand something like 50-60 diggs to make the home page, and then pushing it to 80 over time and then finding the right balance. The overall experience to me now seems like it is only a select few posts that go hot and the rest stay in upcoming, which is not really the main place people look for stories. Is it just me or does that mean relevance is lost?

What I found interested in this whole situation is that Jay Adelson said to Wired Magazine:

“Let’s be realistic about what happened yesterday,” Adelson says. “It wasn’t a revolt. To me, a revolt is when a statistically significant group of people cause a disruption. These guys are significant to me personally, but this wasn’t a revolt. I hope that the next time a small group of users voice their concerns, it’s not represented as a ‘mass movement’ or a ‘revolt.’”

When a large group of your top users stand up and say, “We are unhappy”…that is a revolt. Jay should have understood that from the vibe of the room. Granted, I think that everyone was happy that Jay and Kevin went on the show to talk about the situation, which was the stand up thing to do. I think they recognized how severe the situation could have gotten and they decided to attempt to mitigate that risk. (See Full Wired Post: Digg CEO Jay Adelson’s Take on the So-Called “Revolt”)

Digg has seen its Alexa ranking drop to the mid-hundreds (Digg ranks 144 currently according to Alexa) from being in the top 100 previously.

Here are some great reads about the recent Digg News:
Digg Causes ED Among Social Marketers; Will it Now Go Limp Itself? - Andy Beal
Near-Revolt on Digg Underscores Site’s Dependence on Its Users – Wired
Top Digg Users Revolt Against Algorithm Change on Site – NY Times

What do you think this will do to the Digg community? Will this effect buyout opportunities negatively? Or, does the old Hollywood saying of “Any buzz is good buzz” apply?

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