Digg’s Bastardization

Digg’s about to embark on a crazy expansion scheme into product and restaurant reviews. It’s surprising that they would even make this move. They’re basically stating that they have the rating or social ratings game nailed like Google nailed search. I’m not exactly sure how they plan to pull it off but product and restaurant reviews look like a bad match.

I mean really, do you want an anonymous mob who don’t know jack about your product or restaurant “rating” your site and thrashing you in the ghetto comments section? The armchair critics and anonymous haters that hang out in the comments section will have a field day with all the reviews. I frankly don’t see the utility of such reviews. Although I would imagine that charging establishments and products a fee to “opt out” of being submitted to Digg might be a great source of revenue. Maybe any publicity is good publicity.

The problem with Digg right now is that anything and everything is already bastardized. Their aggressive “spam” filtering and the fact that everything has to be suitable for consumption by 1 million+ registrants equals instant mediocrity and a rehash of old news from the big tech sites (the untouchables locked in an incestuous tango of patting each other on the back).

I’ve never really thought of Digg as a company with a good algorithm (especially after they wrecked stuff). It’s always been more about the design and its addictive quality. I’m hoping the personalization will mean a more relevant Digg but their recent moves suggest otherwise and their traffic as captured on Alexa still shows a long, steady decline. Does anybody use source control? They should just revert to whatever they were doing before THEN think of the next step.

Rose was speaking about the company’s 6-12 month plans, saying that product and restaurant reviews may be among the new content for voting on. They’ll add virtually everything, in fact, that you could imagine Digging. Additionally, Rose has finally hinted that Digg will become more personalized: rather than focusing on what is popular among all users, it’ll deliver a more customized view based on your interests (ie. what you Dugg). Depending on how that’s implemented, it could lessen the power of a “front page” story, but also offer opportunities for more diverse topics to get attention.

Kevin Rose: Digg May Expand to Images, Restaurant and Product Reviews