Digg… I don’t get it. After attending PubCon, and hearing many refer to Digg this, and Digg that, I figured I better do some digging myself to figure out what the buzz was all about. And yet, a couple months later, I know what Digg is, I understand the traffic it can generate, I have spent time looking over the front pages on occasion, and I am simply not impressed. There is rarely anything on the front page intriguing enough to click, let alone read. So could someone please explain the draw, or is there nothing to it? Could Digg simply be built on a Madonnaesque marketing blitz, with more buzz than substance, more hype than value?
Digg appears to be nothing more than an online popularity contest, where inmates are actually allowed to run the asylum. And the longer these inmates have been in the asylum, the more influence they are given to decide on what the other inmates get to see and read. Additionally, the popularity of a dugg article is seemingly based on a disturbingly narrow (dare I say juvenile) focus, with just a few decent articles thrown up occasionally to keep Digg barely credible and hardly reliable.
These “Diggers” seem to have drastically different view on what I deem to be important, or relevant from the perspective of a business owner, who is over the age of 35. Who are these Diggers anyway? Why do their opinions count? What is their expertise, if they have any at all? Which then begs the question, why should anyone care or trust their opinions? There is no established credibilty. It’s like asking a random stranger on the street for tax advice, I mean they might know more about taxes than I do, but how can I be sure unless I know more about them, their background and their credentials? Despite this obvious lack of credibility, here we have a site where anonymous and potentially uninformed folks attempt to “recommend” to the public what we should spend our time reading. And get a load of what is on the recommended reading list…
At the time of writing this post the home page of Digg had 2 articles on Mike Tyson’s DUI charge, one on the Nintendo Wii, something about the French space agency’s plans to publish an UFO archive online, an article about 2007 being the year of the Xbox 360, one on music about some “buggy game,” and something on Storm Troopers (Star Wars) being in the Rose Parade. You have got to be kidding. Who in their right mind cares about any of this, and who values their time so little as to waste it by reading any of this stuff?
So, based on what I saw today, to be “Dugg,” I would need create an article to impress an audience of UFO interested, Mike Tyson following, Star Wars loving, gamers… Ummmm… yeah, I think I’ll pass. My potential clients don’t hang out there. I think I’ll put my efforts towards attracting clients who have aspirations of growing their online business, instead of spending time writing an article I hope will drive random traffic to our site in order to see a profitless spike in our Alexa ranking. I prefer and recommend a more focused, pragmatic approach. Not to mention I also prefer to attract individuals who do not need to rummage through their mom’s purse, or sister’s piggy bank in order to have a little spending money.
I will say this for Digg… If Digg can continue to get Diggers to read (for fun let’s just assume they are actually reading this dribble) instead of gaming all day, then it is certainly an important public service, and Digg should be commended for getting the kids to read something, anything.
I personally expect Digg’s popularity to suffer in 2007, with more folks coming to these same glaring conclusions. Many will realize Digg is to online media, as the The Enquirer is to print media. Popular perhaps, but the readers aren’t the ones you want managing your 401K. Either Digg is going to overhaul itself, and begin to earn trust by displaying the actual credentials of their Diggers, or someone else will eventually come up with a similar service, which relies on a panel of proven experts to rate articles in their areas of expertise, which would then be truly worth the read. Now a service like that would be something we all could really Digg.