Digg, Dugg, Done: Once mighty social network sells for 500 grand

Digg, Dugg, Done: Once mighty social network sells for 500 grand

Summary: Digg, once an Internet power, has just sold for a mere $500,000

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Digg was once one of the top 25 Web sites in the U.S. That was in 2006. The once wildly popular social bookmark and networking site was just sold for a mere $500-thousand dollars to BetaWorks. How the mighty have fallen!

While Matt Williams, Digg's CEO, tried to put a good face on it, saying that “Digg has always been a site built by the community, for the community. Over the last few months, we've considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place -- to discover the best stuff on the web. We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.” Well, maybe it has but the simple truth is that Digg had become a shadow of its former self and it's fallen far behind such social bookmarking rivals as Reddit and Pinterest and can't even be mentioned in the same breath anymore with the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

Digg's fall from grace began in 2010 when it was revealed that a group, the so-called Digg Patriots were engaged in a widespread campaign of censorship against liberals. Using multiple accounts, up-vote padding, and ban campaigns they were successful in muzzling liberal conversation on the site for months.

Then, only weeks later, Kevin Rose, Digg's co-founder, made a strategic mistake and changed the entire Digg voting system and layout. While Rose back-tracked on some of the changes, the fundamental changes were seen as taking the power to up-vote and down-vote stories entirely out of users' hands and the Digg community hated this change. The users saw that Digg was no longer a “site built by the community, for the community” and left.

Digg never recovered. Rose, and other senior staffers left in March 2012 to join Google. More than half of the remaining staff left the company in May 2012 to join Social Code, a digital media subsidiary of The Washington Post. The only thing left to do was to sweep up and lock the doors. According to the Wall Street Journal, none of the remaining Digg staff will be kept on.

Now, sold essentially for pocket-change, what remains of Digg will be integrated into BetaWork's News.Me This is a start-up companies that sends its customers news links on mobile applications and an e-mail list from their Twitter, Facebook, and now one presumes their Digg friends.

However that move turn out, Digg, as it once was, is done.

Related Stories:

Digg founder Kevin Rose hired by Google

Facebook makes iOS integration easier for developers

Yahoo, Facebook settle patent spat, forge alliance

Twitter mimics Facebook, kills own ecosystem

Topics: Social Enterprise, Networking

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11 comments
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  • 5 years from now, Facebook gets the same fate.

    Though I expect a government to buy it... guess which one? Hint, their flag contains red, but not white or blue...

    /cynicism
    HypnoToad72
    • and this has been repeated again and again in history

      still didn't stop the suckers from buying shares.....
      12312332123
  • Digg, Dugg, Done: Once mighty social network sells for 500 grand

    Easy come, easy go. Kevin Rose is probably still crying. Digg stopped being good when they stopped being a tech site. Lost sight of their roots.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • alternatives...

    Now that Diggs ship has sailed, here are a few alternatives:

    Boxnutt (http://www.boxnutt.com) - Boxnutt is a place to discover what's new and popular on the web.
    Reddit (http://www.reddit.com) - the front page of the internet
    Snip. it (http://www.snip.it) - collect the best of the web.
    Kelsey Winkler
    • alternatives

      Everyone who left Digg is already on Reddit.
      sravll
  • yup

    All they had to do back then to regain their competitiveness was change the site back to how it was before. I left Digg because suddenly it sucked.
    sravll
  • A Digg Patriot Speaks Out

    FTA: "Digg's fall from grace began in 2010 when it was revealed that a group, the so-called Digg Patriots were engaged in a widespread campaign of censorship against liberals. Using multiple accounts, up-vote padding, and ban campaigns they were successful in muzzling liberal conversation on the site for months."

    That's a lie, and I am shocked and astonished that Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols would accept that uncritically to the point of repeating it without qualification, nor even any attribution to the likely sources. And I am absolutely sure that I can name them. That I don't, is because I do not care to expose myself unnecessarily to liability for allegations of slander or defamation of character. Let it suffice that those same liberals, who are Vaughn-Nichols' likely sources, know who they are.

    Furthermore: the Digg Patriots began as a response to the *liberal* cabal on Digg, who, with multiple accounts, up-vote padding, and ban campaigns, suppressed *conservative* commentary for years. We tried complaining to Digg administration. To no avail. So we decided to give them a taste of their own medicine.

    No wonder they cried, "Foul!" We broke their rules. We fought back.

    Furthermore, this war began a lot earlier than 2010. It began with the 2008 election campaign. It continued, full-tilt, throughout 2009. And I well remember one particular, and spectacular, victory that I myself scored. I submitted an article, of my own composition, about the apparent breach of security at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, UK--the "Climate-gate Affair." In it I included a link to the Climate-gate Archive, and some of the damning quotes that I am sure are familiar to all. Quotes like, "Hide the decline!" And, "We cannot show a warming trend, and it is a travesty that we can't!" That article got nearly 700 up-votes inside of 24 hours. A follow-up article, again by me, scored even higher. And *off* Digg, my article bore mention in The Wall Street Journal.

    That, I am convinced, stuck in Kevin Rose' craw. Hence his last change. And of course he had been trying to change things earlier. He got rid of the Shout system, for example.

    Let me reply to a canard that still might be rattling around on Digg: that I myself had multiple accounts. I never had more than one. So when a like-minded individual started submitting stories similar to mine, and commenting on my own submissions, the Digg Anti-patriots (for lack of a better term) started the vicious rumor that he and I were one and the same person. That is simply not true. But it is typical of the kind of character assassination that became commonplace on Digg.

    Now I will name one name, because after all, it's already out there, and it's the name of the captain of the ship: Kevin Rose. Mr. Rose, if you are reading this, then I say: you have none to blame but yourself. You made no effort to determine where truth or justice lay. You wouldn't know either truth or justice if it slapped you across the face. And if you dare assert that I, and my friends, are somehow responsible for diminishing the value of a multi-million-dollar investment to a mere half-million dollars, I swear *I* will sue *you* for slander and defamation of character!
    Terry Hurlbut
    • Me too

      I visited Digg a few times way back when, and stopped going there because of the quite obvious story-spiking behavior by liberals. So I tend to believe you. And yes, that was way before 2010.

      The same thing was going to happen here if they hadn't gotten rid of the down-voting system. Here the issue isn't liberals, it's astroturfers from Redmond. They still show up en masse to throw bricks at anyone who violates their dogma, but at least they can no longer silence people.
      Robert Hahn
  • A social, more relevant alternative

    Hate to name drop, but my team and I (5 USC kids) are building a whole new angle of social discovery called Hypemarks. Our goal is to make web discovery more efficient and meaningful. So instead of discovering through random strangers like on Digg, we help you find awesome news/links through only the people you care about.

    You can think of us like a StumbleUpon meets Twitter. Feel free to check us out at http://hypemarks.com. Really appreciate your time!
    timskk
  • I remember when Steven started pushing Digg

    I knew Digg's days were numbered. Any product Steven supports, dies. Any product he hates, thrives.

    I guess if you were a stock broker, Steven would be a perfect inverse predictor.
    Cynical99
  • Steven, please hate my blogs

    With indisputable logic like Cynical99's, I want you to hate my blogs. Please Steven, tell me you'll hate me and my stuff so I too can be successful.
    khess