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Innovation

Web 2.0: Do users matter?

Do Digg and Yahoo Flickr care less about their users?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor on

I have chatted with Kevin Rose (see “Digg: Kevin Rose talks ‘The Real Deal’ in exclusive interview”). 

I asked him last September about key changes to the Digg story promotion algorithim at that time aimed at enhancing diversity of digger input with the goal of “keeping digg as useful, democratic, and devoid of misuse as possible.” I questioned if Digg user self submission of stories really jibe with “democratic” and “devoid of monetary motivations.”

Rose replied:

Anyone can submit. There are 4000 newly submitted stories daily. We don’t have a problem with people submitting their own stories. It is not up to the person submitting story if it makes it to the front page. It is up to the community if that is something they want to see on the front page…We have sophisticated anti-gaming processes. We are spending a lot in R & D to prevent gaming. Motivations don’t matter.

Rose’s responses are in line with his company’s positioning. In talking with him personally, Rose’s positions also felt in line with his real beliefs.

Rose also spoke with me about his vision for the future of Digg, which I present again and discuss in “Digg: Kevin Rose targets social networking.” I posted that story just hours ago, one of the first to comment on Rose’s announcement of the retirement of the “Top Diggers” list.

I predict in my story that a typical response to the Digg evolution would be allegations of disregard for what some deem to be Digg’s most important users and to warn of Digger alienation. Such reaction is indeed the case.

Darren Rowse: “Digg to stop making their users famous”

This will cause a big stir among some digg users (especially those who have built quite a reputation on digg)… I think one of the things that is behind the success of sites like Digg is that they make their users famous and give them incentive to build a reputation/profile…I’ve already talked to one top 40 Digger who’s not particularly happy about it.

Om Malik: "The new new Digg nation”

The San Francisco-based company announced some changes in the way Digg does its digging, which may or may not go-down well with the larger Digg Nation…Digg team is taking a huge risk of alienating the same users who spend countless hours finding and digging stories.

Could Kevin Rose care less about reactions from Digg’s “most important” users?

What about Yahoo’s Flickr, does its recent login changes mean it is abandoning its “founding“ users?

As Rose himself noted, “controversial press/blog posts” about allegedly unsavory goings on are inevitable.

WHAT REALLY IS GOING ON?

Isn’t Web 2.0 supposed to be about community? Doesn’t community mean every member matters, the same.

Digg’s evolution and Yahoo’s Flickr changes mean that users do matter, all users, not just a minority that believe they matter more for whatever reason.

Digg and Yahoo improve their free-to-the-user systems to enhance everyone’s user experience and their own company performance.

A good corporate CEO thinks like a good government President: every person counts, towards the good for all the people.

ALSO: Digg: Kevin Rose targets social networking

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