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Digg.com Sold To Betaworks For $500,000

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-long dept.

Businesses 193

New submitter MyFirstNameIsPaul writes "The once popular social news website Digg.com, which received $45 million in funding, is being sold to to Betaworks for $500,000. From the article: 'Betaworks is acquiring the Digg brand, website, and technology, but not its employees. Digg will be folded into News.me, Betaworks' social news aggregator. This is not the outcome people expected for Digg. In 2008, Google was reportedly set to buy it for $200 million.'" Update: 07/13 12:26 GMT by S : Looks like real number is about $16 million.

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Look on the bright side (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633347)

This is still 500,000 times what Newsweek sold for. So I guess it means failure in digital is still worth more than a failed dead tree product.

All social media sites can expect to share this fate soon enough with the exceptions of facebook, twitter and a couple more than will survive for a bit. The whole model depends on scaling up to 'too big to fail' before the initial money runs out. And of course 'too big to fail' also fails eventually, see myspace and any number of other dead and forgotten sites that had their fifteen minutes.

The only way to make money in this game is to piss off the users as you slap them in the face with the reality that they aren't customers.... they are the product. Yet the sole reason a social media site exists is because users want to be there, the defining feature is there is little created/curated content on a social media site, it is all user created. And since users aren't really tied to a site they are free to be fickle and jump to the next shiny thing they can share links to cat videos on. Which all means it is fairly easy to get a crapload of users, just give em free services; making a living giving away stuff to zillions of users is still a hard and mostly unsolved problem. Google is making money giving stuff away, anyone else?

Re:Look on the bright side (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633523)

Newsweek will also be around longer than Digg.

Re:Look on the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634531)

I am far more intelligent than one such as you.

Re:Look on the bright side (0)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633673)

Many companies make money by making free stuff. Here are a few: Red Hat, Canonical, Facebook, Zynga, Mozilla, etc.

Re:Look on the bright side (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633821)

Please note the important difference between free software and free services. If you release a piece of free software it costs almost nothing more if a million people download it vs a thousand. On the other hand if lots of people download and use it you are almost certain to get contributions in the form of feature enhancements, patches and bug reports; and history shows that you are likely to eventually generate enough general activity around the project to produce revenue. If not enough revenue to cover all development costs, certainly enough to cover the hosting bills since those scale fairly closely with general interest. The beauty of the cost of reproduction being as close to zero as to not make a difference is at the heart of the Free Software success story.

Now compare to free services like facebook. Every incremental user costs money. The only way, so far, to generate offsetting revenue is by ruthlessly marketing the users to advertisers. But users don't like that and venture capitalists are eager to throw money into the 'next big thing' so you are competing against free.

Re:Look on the bright side (0)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634161)

Here's what you wrote:

Google is making money giving stuff away, anyone else?

I gave some examples. Now your current reply contradicts what you said earlier. Google is a service. And by what you just said, they don't make money giving stuff away. They make money selling targeted ads. For Google, the user is the product, just as it is with Facebook.

Re:Look on the bright side (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634821)

No, he didn't contradict himself. He revised his statement to more clearly state that he wanted examples of lucrative free web services.

Re:Look on the bright side (5, Insightful)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633887)

Many companies make money by making free stuff. Here are a few: Red Hat, Canonical, Facebook

But the product of Facebook is not the website, and neither are the Linux distros the final products of Red Hat or Canonical. It's like saying a fishing company gives the bait away free. The bait or the code are just production costs, expenses required in order to create their product. For Red Hat the product is support, sold to companies, and for Facebook the product is you, sold to advertisers.

Re:Look on the bright side (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634535)

"Many" is a relative term.

Re:Look on the bright side (0)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634865)

Many companies make money by making free stuff. Here are a few: Red Hat, Canonical, Facebook, Zynga, Mozilla, etc.

And sometimes it's a disaster. BeOS was an unfortunate victim.

Re:Look on the bright side (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633965)

The only way to make money in this game is to piss off the users as you slap them in the face with the reality that they aren't customers.... they are the product. Yet the sole reason a social media site exists is because users want to be there,

Every criticism you offer about online / social web sites could be equally well applied to something like broadcast television... And yet, they've been operating and profitable for a half-century now, with no end in sight, and the future looks fairly bright for them after the switch to HDTV, with only minimal potential for 'disruptive technology' on the horizon that could upset the good-old business model.

Google is making money giving stuff away, anyone else?

Yes: TV & Radio.

Re:Look on the bright side (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634133)

Actually, broadcast TV is threatened like never before. Cable is a split model where the cable companies and the cable only channels make money from both subscriptions and advertising. And streaming video is threatening to rip them both a new one. Cable at $50-$100+/mo vs Netflix for $10 or Amazon for the cost of Prime.

Radio would be dead except it costs almost nothing to keep a station on the air with the current model of total automation and the statutory licensing model of paying royalties for the music here in the US.

Re:Look on the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634453)

Call cable $60+, since the typical $100 or $110 bill is probably 40% internet.

OTA is Free
Sony's Crackle is Free
Netflix is $8
Amazon is $7
Hulu is $10
Amazon Rentals are $3-5
Youtube Rentals are $3-5

There's a reckoning a-comin. I'm just not sure how it's going to shake out. I hope it comes in the way of cutting out the cable companies, but they're gunna get us on the bw until someone else steps in and does internet only cable service.

Re:Look on the bright side (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634991)

Cable TV stations have dual sources of income, yes, but their quality has been falling dramatically, even while they have exploded in numbers. Dish Network has been playing hardball for years against them, and winning. You can get Dish Network for just $15/month with their welcome package, which has local channels plus a few of the most popular cable channels, but completely cutting the flood of cable channels off from ANY revenue.

But the real threat is HDTV. Now that broadcast TV is digital and highdef, the picture you get from an antenna is superior to any paid service, you can pick-up far more transmitters than before, and a proliferation of digital subchannels (THIS, AntennaTV, MeTV, etc) provides the kind of selection with OTA broadcast that most people signed-up for cable to get.

Most cable channels have always just been repeat airings of network TV shows. With more OTA channels, that syndication is happening on free TV instead of cable, and the proliferation of cheap DVRs has basically eliminated the need for cable, as you can record the original airing yourself, and rewatch it when it's most convenient for you.

The very few original shows on cable are more inexpensively and conveniently provided by a Netflix subscription, or hulu (free).

Services like hulu may, eventually become a threat to OTA, but the cost of getting OTA (an antenna) is so low that there's not much room for Hulu to improve upon broadcast, and the bandwidth requirements for full-quality streaming HDTV are a long way off for the bulk of the general public.

There's lots of reason to believe cable is going to experience a major crash in a short while, but OTA broadcast has no real competition at this point, and I expect it'll be able to compete extremely well when that ppotentially disruptive competitor does come along.

Re:Look on the bright side (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634169)

Yet the sole reason a social media site exists is because users want to be there (...) And since users aren't really tied to a site they are free to be fickle and jump to the next shiny thing they can share links to cat videos on.

Perhaps, perhaps not. There's a huge amount of peer pressure of the "Why can't you use YouTube like everybody else? Stop being such a special snowflake." variety, maybe not for cat videos but for many other things. For example recently I needed to talk to some friends and their tool of choice is now Facebook Chat. Before that there was MSN, before that ICQ or IRC. I didn't choose to abandon any of those, but you can't be social without people to be social with. You can more than sustain a profit on those network effects as long as you don't become so obnoxious people leave in greater numbers than they join.

Re:Look on the bright side (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634799)

I see your perspective, but I'm afraid you're off-base.

Social media does not share the same fate (from a guy without a facebook account). Digg's model was never to scale up quickly and sell before the floor drops out. They had a revenue stream before, but they got greedy. They sold out and basically deleted the old site to start fresh. The users had no reason to stick around, but I believe they would have otherwise. Look at reddit.

No, revenue from user-generated is still alive and well.

This would have been first post, but... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633365)

This would have been first post, but it was a missed opportunity.

Re:This would have been first post, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634849)

Totally made me giggle ;-)

Yes shit happens (1)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633403)

There is always the risk that someone will build a better model, and your dot com bubble implodes

Re:Yes shit happens (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634131)

The griefers won. There's a lesson there for slashdot.

Don't care (-1, Redundant)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633417)

Never used that site; saw no reason to.

Re:Don't care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633423)

But you did see a reason to post this pointless comment?

Re:Don't care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633475)

> But you did see a reason to post this pointless comment?

It's not pointless: he got +2. Furthermore, his comment's easy karma indicates precisely why this news-story is relevant to Slashdot.

precisely (1)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633681)

Although /. page layout doesn't place highly-rated stories first. The calendar does that.

Slashdot's moderation seems to be slowing the decline into group-think but I still feel like I'm falling when I read /.comments -- which is getting less often.

Get Off My Lawn! (Grumble, grumble)

Re:precisely (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634197)

Show your tits

Re:precisely (1, Offtopic)

Anna Merikin (529843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635173)

Show your IQ and say my handle out loud to yourself

Still wanna see my tits?

And get off my lawn!

Re:Don't care (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633517)

Its not pointless when it points out the principal reason Digg is done.

Virtually Nobody saw any good reason to use that site, virtually nobody goes there for a recommendation on what they should read about. It failed precisely because the vast majority shared Reboot246's opinion.

Re:Don't care (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634787)

And yet Reddit is extremely popular

Re: I was a Digg user six years (5, Informative)

Lucas123 (935744) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634539)

Kevin Rose did everything he could to drive away long-time, loyal users, first by killing off any social networking aspect and then by revamping the entire site so that it didn't resemble the original or have any of the functionality that made it popular. It was idiocy gone wild. Personally, I think Betaworks just got ripped off big time. Digg's been going down the drain for two years now, and nothing's going to revive it at his point. Why do you think Rose took a job with Google?

Re: I was a Digg user six years (2)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635119)

I was a digg user from a little bit after that time as well. It makes it very clear just how little most of the people commenting on this story know about it. Digg's been a vastly changing culture and platform over the years. It went from "meh" to ok to good and then a slow slide to kinda shitty before Rose totally stabbed the remaining users in the back. Looking at digg now is like going to detroit now and thinking you can judge its past by the current rubble and ruin.

Re:Don't care (2, Interesting)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635013)

I used it for the first time two days ago and thought, "this is worse than reddit," of which I'm a new user as well. I checked them out because /. is dying. Also breezed through 4chan for once, what a shit hole. Since then I've been looking for a decent community that aggregates real news. No luck. Thinking of building my own. Nonetheless, we are certainly at an impasse.

When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (5, Interesting)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633433)

If I remember correctly, wasn't Digg supposed to be the new Slashdot without the hardcore Geek Cred? Didn't Kevin Rose speak directly to CmdrTaco about the failings of Slashdot? Kevin doesn't seem that bad a guy, actually, but he had two major failings that I can see:

- Not selling at the top of the market, which is usually hard to gauge anyway, (and didn't he leave some time ago?)

and the most important failing:

- Dumping Sarah Lane so that she could later travel the world on Honeymoon and get a brain eating parasite.

Better Days to them both.

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (4, Informative)

Darundal (891860) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633513)

IIRC, he left around the time of the Digg 4 update (the one that killed Digg and caused it's users to flood tons of other sites).

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633735)

Perhaps Diggs' new owners will use "cvs update -r DIGG_UPDATE_3" or whatever and undo the heinous redesign ?

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634465)

IIRC, he left around the time of the Digg 4 update (the one that killed Digg and caused it's users to flood tons of other sites).

I blame Leo Laporte of TWiT (this week in tech) - Dig 4 Was My Idea! [twit.tv]
Sure Dig 4 was a flop, but consider this: What If his "idea" was to keep Dig from being a threat to his growing media empire?

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633967)

Dumping Sarah Lane so that she could later travel the world on Honeymoon and get a brain eating parasite.

Ok, so dumping her so she can fall in love and eat undercooked/contaminated food and get a pork parasite is a major failing on his part? I suppose if he had married her, then dumped her after getting infected with pork parasites would make him Prince Fucking Charming!

I'm sure you had a point?

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634045)

Digg was much bigger than /. when it was going at full steam, had better and more timely articles, and much bigger discussions due to its larger community. But the board chose a ridiculous redesign for V4 and refused to listen to the voice of the users. They thought the dip in numbers would be a temporary thing, people would soon come back. Well, they didn't. They left in droves.

When the writing was on the wall, Rose bailed out giving control to others to try to resurrect the product his braindead decisions killed. They didn't, they just followed the same path into the grave yard. Not that Rose is too bothered, he made a personal fortune to allow him to be financially independent for the rest of his life.

Refusing to listen to users (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634705)

But the board chose a ridiculous redesign for V4 and refused to listen to the voice of the users.

Sounds a bit like a certain once-dominant Linux desktop...

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634335)

What are you talking about? He already sold out. It hasn't been Kevin Rose's baby since he sold it for the $45 milllion. He made out like a bandit.

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634637)

Do you have any citation for this? I was wondering if Rose made anything on Digg.

The only reference I could find that he did was some Gawker story whose author had no clue how VC financing works, and was making idiotic guesses...

"Allowing the VCs to put in enough money to make the investment worth their time, at a high valuation, would require substantial dilution, which would disadvantage employees and early investors. Much simpler to transfer shares directly from one large shareholder — Rose — to another."

Umm, no, if Rose sold *his* shares to a VC *he* gets the money, and that doesn't raise anything for the company. Venture CAPITAL of course involves dilution because the company is selling its *own* shares (usually created via dilution) to raise money for its own operations...

Anyway, if you found a real source that credibly shows he made $45M (and not just raised $45M in funding for his company) that would be interesting to see...

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634505)

Digg was actually a pretty good site when it was tech-oriented. Then there was an update (Digg 4?) that tried to draw in more crowds by adding all sorts of submission types. Pretty soon all the tech people left and the site was reduced to people posting "funny" pictures, random computer tips everyone knew about years ago, and top 10 lists. It used to be that an article required hundreds of votes to make the front page. Go look now: as of this posting, the first story has only 29 votes.

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635145)

> It used to be that an article required hundreds of votes to make the front page I mostly agree. But one has to consider the whole power user thing as well. There were a number of people who used a variety of means to artificially inflate votes on stories they submitted. The main reason it would take so many people to get something to the front page was that people gaming the system were forcing those numbers. Just getting rid of the power users probably reduced the numbers instantly into a state more reflective of the actual user base.

Re:When Kevin Rose Wanted to Eat a Taco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634593)

I hope he didn't eat her pork taco! Rimshot

But seriously, between him and MG Siegler, she must have a thing for homos.

Forget Digg... (4, Interesting)

billybob_jcv (967047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633439)

What does that mean for the valuation of /.?

Re:Forget Digg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633459)

Never mind Digg, how about GitHub [ycombinator.com] 's $100M capital raise?

Re:Forget Digg... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633537)

It'll be sold for a copy of a picture CmdrTaco's penis and a snicker's bar in a couple of years.

Re:Forget Digg... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633715)

What does that mean for the valuation of /.?

/. was offered for sale to Betaworks for two packs of cigarettes and an "attaboy", but Betaworks declined...

Re:Forget Digg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634995)

Slashdot and SourceForge are complementary properties, at least in theory. Slashdot brings the regular traffic and SourceForge provides the IP (or some kind of share of IP that will take teams of lawyers to figure out, anyway).

I wouldn't be surprised if Google buys it and then spins it off, while keeping a seat on the board. I'm sure that's what everyone at GeekNet is hoping for, from the owners down to the editors.

Slashdot won't go for even that (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633445)

It's sad that digg was supposed to be the successor to slashdot, and look at their value now, almost next to nothing.

I see slashdot going down that same path, it is so obvious to any long time reader. These sites started out with so much promise, but bad leadership and decisions have led them to oblivion.

So long digg, and so long slashdot you are next.

Re:Slashdot won't go for even that (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633533)

Slashdot is very old when measured in Digg lives.

All the Diggers went to Reddit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633515)

I think everyone either went to Reddit, or Pharyngula.

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634077)

I liked the digg interface and usability, pre v4. redit has one of the worst designs on the web today, maybe only outdone by 4chan. The content is usually great but navigation is a disaster, thats something I like about digg and slashdot, while there ar elots of great things in idle, both digg and /. have a logical flow and easy to use nav. I suspect you are right though, alot of the digg regulars have migrated to reddit

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634767)

4chan is great for what 4chan is. It's an anonymous, immediately-deleted imageboard, where you post whatever the fuck you want to. If you think your thoughts are so special they deserve permanent archiving, post somewhere else. If you think you deserve credit for thinking those thoughts, post somewhere else.

Also, yeah, I've never been able to figure out whats the difference between digg and reddit.

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (0)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634847)

Reddit is the dig of /.

Mostly garbage, lots of circlejerks, wankers, etc.

The sub-reddits can be a gold-mine as the S/N is a much better.

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635069)

Please point to the great content because I think I'm doing it wrong.

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635171)

Depends on what your particular interest is. Most of the default reddits are crap. Most of the default subreddits also have similar subreddits made that aren't defaults in order to avoid the front page floods. /r/truegaming instead of /r/gaming for example.

Re:All the Diggers went to Reddit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634201)

Reddit sucks donkey balls. Just a bunch of dumb people posting pictures of their cats and dogs. It's exactly the kind of website you would end up with if you "primed the pump" by dumping a bunch of phoney posts to drum up business. Only users too stupid to see how they were duped remain on reddit.

Ephemeral values of interwebs properties (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633549)

This is why I won't buy stock in fazebook.

He who laughs last, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633557)

laughs best.

Good riddance... (2)

tocsy (2489832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633643)

and I'm sure I speak for more than just myself when I say that. The first year or two of Digg's existence were actually alright, when interesting articles were actually posted on the front page. It degraded rather quickly, however, into a reeeeeally shitty aggregator. When I finally stopped going, it was almost completely top-ten lists and links to "funny" pictures.

The Writing is on the Wall, Slashdot (1, Insightful)

qbitslayer (2567421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633663)

Most social comment-driven sites that employ a user-activated reward and punishment system eventually degenerate into boring, politically correct bully pulpits where the choir preaches only to the choir while everybody with a brain bails out. The writing is on the wall. Can you Digg it, Slashdot?

Re:The Writing is on the Wall, Slashdot (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634163)

Jumped the shark... June 29,1999

Re:The Writing is on the Wall, Slashdot (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634741)

Most social comment-driven sites that employ a user-activated reward and punishment system eventually degenerate into boring, politically correct bully pulpits

As opposed to sites without a user-activated reward system, which start as "politically correct bully pulpits" aligned with their owners' views.

Re:The Writing is on the Wall, Slashdot (4, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635151)

The phrase, "bully pulpit" does not mean what you're using it to mean. In that phrase, (credit to Teddy Roosevelt?), "bully" is a synonym for, "awesome" or "grand."

When you speak from a regular pulpit, everyone in the room listens, typically of the order of 200 people, because a larger room would be too large for the "amplification" technique of "sticking a hollow box over the speaker's head." The presidency is a bully pulpit because when you speak as President, potentially 300 million are listening.

What happened to Digg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633701)

What actually happened to Digg?

The last time I went there was a couple of weeks before the DVD key incident, and then a few times couple of weeks after. Everything seemed active enough back then.

That -was- years ago, but what changed in the meantime?

Did it just fade away?

Re:What happened to Digg? (5, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633899)

I used to visit Digg several times a day. Then they did a site redesign that was horrible. I stopped going there, and after a few days, realized I didn't miss it.

Note to slashdot: I've been coming here at least once a day since 1998. Note you have had redesigns but nothing too horrible, and I'm still here. Don't pull a Digg.

Re:What happened to Digg? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634625)

Who are you and why do you matter?

Re:What happened to Digg? (1)

geekd (14774) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634785)

You're the one who's anonymous.

Re:What happened to Digg? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634923)

I had to leave slashdot for about a year... they did somethign to their site design that made firefox lag to the point of crashing on stories with a lot of comments. At some point they fixed it though :)

Re:What happened to Digg? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634817)

They did a site redesign that made functionality a lot worse for many people. At the same time, the algorithm was aggravating the users since it heavily-favored the high-karma users' posts and nobody else made it to the front page. Add a right-wing bloc of users called the Digg Patriots who tried dominating the discussions and downvoting what they didn't like, and many left; plenty to Reddit.

I used Digg.com a lot now I use Reddit.com (5, Informative)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633761)

Digg was good for social media. People would submit stories, and then the cool ones would come to the top. Apparently a minor problem arose with power users who could spam their friends with messages,"Digg this cuz ur my friend", and a lot of them would. These power users eventually started getting corporate sponsor to astroturf, and their friends were oblivious so they still got Diggs. The actual user base didn't have much of a problem with this as you could read user names and just ignore them. I think the proper solution was to allow people to permanently ignore user posts, then power user spam would have been fixed.

Where Digg went wrong was,"We gotta beat these power users to their own game!" So they made it so users could no longer submit stories. And then your entire feed was all corporate sponsored advertising. This is equivalent of turning prime time television into one giant informercial. I know nothing of value is lost there, but in social media, this is a group of people moderating news and it was pretty valuable until they killed it thinking we're all bunch of sheep who will just sit there and read advertisements all day.

I'm glad Digg.com is dead. I just hope Reddit.com doesn't pull something stupid too.

Re:I used Digg.com a lot now I use Reddit.com (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633809)

My sentence structure was ambiguous. When I said nothing of value is lost there, I meant if they turned television into one giant infomercial. Digg was actually a real loss because it was a very good community they trashed because they wanted to feed mass mindless advertising while making it look like users submit it. For a while Digg.com was fun to go to watch the train wreck and everyone trashing it in the comments, but then their advertisements started becoming links to virus sites, so I stopped even visiting so I could mock them.

Re:I used Digg.com a lot now I use Reddit.com (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634139)

I'm glad Digg.com is dead. I just hope Reddit.com doesn't pull something stupid too.

Like employing/encouraging/allowing douchebags to game 9/10 of all submissions with a snowball's chance in hell of gaining any significant rank? Too late. According to recent revelations, the fix was in before even Conde Naste bought them up.

Oh yeah...Fuck Babyman! And now, fuck DavidReiss666 (et al)

Re:I used Digg.com a lot now I use Reddit.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634917)

Could you **please** give a citation for this???

Reddit is already dead (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634157)

Reddit is already dead from a usability standpoint. The largest subreddits are unrefutably crap, and the overall site is overrun by the hordes of idiots who infect the few decent, smaller subreddits. Unfortunately, the site has degenerated into a massive karmawhoring party and it is no longer easy to find quality links in the sea of regurgitated memes, 37-panel ragecomics about dropping a piece of toast, and Facebook screenshots. I never really cared for Digg, but did frequent Reddit from 2008 to 2010 before I could no longer tolerate the painfully obvious downward trend in quality. A part of me hopes Conde Nast will just kill it.

Now, I just trawl Slashdot and wait for a good catch. (The Slashdot moderation system is imperfect, but superior to the ones used by Digg and Reddit.) The NetworkWorld-esqe spam posts are annoying, but the accompanying angry comments that eviscerate the stupid headlines are amusing. Overall, the signal-to-noise ratio is higher here -- I particularly enjoyed the recent lighthearted threads about C: 1 [slashdot.org] , 2 [slashdot.org] .

Re:Reddit is already dead (3, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634837)

Once you disable certain obnoxious subreddits in your profile, the site actually becomes wonderful. Just turn off /r/atheism, /r/adviceanimals, and maybe /r/politics, and add the many TV/movie related and other cultural subreddits and you have a nice party.

Re:Reddit is already dead (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634963)

It's still doomed... the simplistic moderation system just doesn't work over long periods of time without adjustments, all the original admins cashed out and the ones left are mostly asleep at the wheel at this point.

Dugg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40633765)

Past tense even.

"News.me"???? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633781)

Wow. With a domain name like that how can they lose?

At the end of the day I seem to keep returning to Facebook (family) Twitter (news and stuff that matters), and to a lesser extent Slashdot and a handful of RSS feeds.

LinkedIn? Digg? Pictionary.. uh, I mean Pinterest? Flattr? Etc Etc Etc?

Or maybe I'm just waiting for the Next Big Thing. Which will likely require 3D glasses.

I wonder if the 500,000 is for patent war (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633785)

Will we see Digg's new owners taking up arms against Reddits, and all the other hundreds of sites that 'copied' their idea of user-rated submissions based on a thumbs up / thumbs down or "Like" / "Hate" system?

Perhaps Facebook could be a target. Digg's "Digg" button did predate Facebook's "Like" button, and FB's "Like" functionality can be construed as a shameless copy of Digg's Digg function; granted FB didn't copy the counter, and Digg didn't provide a list of users that liked the article, or publish lists of articles liked by a user.

Digg has dug (1)

ravenswood1000 (543817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633843)

Digg has dug themselves a grave with the new advertising format. Maybe now they will go away.

Too Funny (5, Funny)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633863)

I seem to recall that Rose made Digg because he felt there was too much elitism on Slashdot.
I guess elitism works!
Vivo El Taco!!!

Re:Too Funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634653)

Works for apple too, at least in my view. Why would I want to work for a company that just spams the market with cheap devices so every normal person can get what I'm working on. I'd trade in 10 such people for just 1 of apples. I don't want to make it easier for stay and home moms to blog...

Re:Too Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634801)

Vivo El Taco!!!

Eres CmdrTaco, en serio?

Similar fate (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40633981)

A similar fate awaits other social network websites, sooner than later. Social networking websites are like malls that after a few years start having a stinky smell, you know those malls you've seen them and been there.

FuckedCompany.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634129)

Where's Pud when you need him....

Listen to your users (5, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634191)

I think there's a BIG take-home to be had from the demise of Digg. Listen to your users.

They REALLY screwed up with Digg 4, and completely dismissed the feedback from their users out of hand.

Had they actually used their brains and done proper testing beforehand, instead of rushing half-baked shit into production, they might've done far better by now.

Did I mention that it's a really good idea to listen to your users, and not walk around with your head up your arse.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" -- Proverbs 16:18.

Re:Listen to your users (3, Insightful)

Rytr23 (704409) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635089)

This. The second I saw that redesign, and the immediate response by Rose et.al, I knew it was over. I really enjoyed Digg, but man they screwed the pooch on that redesign. I recall Rose's "contemporaries" (Rojas/Topolsky) defending it at first, then everyone kind of just quietly tip toed away as they saw the disaster that the Digg team had put together.

BTW..The only reason I use reddit is because I can use an app to peruse the content without the HORRID site interface. And by horrid I mean fucking terrible.

$500K number has been debunked (2)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634205)

Talking to AllThingsD, Digg CEO Matt Williams confirmed that 'the overall consideration is significantly larger' and includes a combination of cash and equity. Another source close to the negotiations tells us that the price was indeed not $500k.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/12/betaworks-acquires-digg/ [techcrunch.com]

Okay, I got this link from Fark. Shoot me.

[Spiffy] It's not news its SLASHDOT.org (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635131)

HA! HA! You're posting Fark links on Slashdot. Your dog wants steak. The Sun is there.

\ Aisle seat please.
\\ Its a street light!
\\\ Summon Bevots!
\\\\ Slashdot slashies.

I can't think of any more classic Fark memes. This comment is useless without pics.

Digg (2, Informative)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634235)

They suffered from a really shit moderation system too, which encouraged groupthink to a far greater extent than Slashdot. Slashdot, imho, is a scalable, robust moderation system done right.

Digg was a sad joke in comparison, where simply having the "wrong" (e.g. liberal) opinion would have you Buried into a smoking crater.

Another problem was sad, basement-dwelling "power Diggers" posting lowest-common-denominator crap all the time. The Dig/Bury model favours quick, cheap laughs at the expense of thoughtful debate.

Although it has to be said that I got into some REALLY fun and entertaining fights with some utterly loopy American and Chinese rightwing extremists. Digg, given it's tendency to lower the IQ of everything it touches, attracted those kinds of people like flies to shit. But after the while, the aggro and stupidity got to me, and I quit my Digg habit.

Can't say I'm sad to see it getting cut up for scrap.

Re:Digg (1, Insightful)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635129)

New reddit user here.

Your quote is spot on:

The Dig/Bury model favours quick, cheap laughs at the expense of thoughtful debate.

I find that if something on reddit takes me longer than ten seconds to digest I just click away. This is not my normal mode of operation btw, but the nature of the site leads me to this behavior.

Too Many Political Stories (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634351)

I stopped going to digg when it started running too many political stories. I don't recall when but it was before the v4 fiasco.

Re:Too Many Political Stories (1)

nickmdf (216307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635073)

Yeah it got old for me when every other story was about Bush = Hitler.

Ok, so not Yahoo! (3, Insightful)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634379)

I've mentioned several times the past years that Digg, which turned in a total crapfest back then, probably would be sold to Yahoo! soonish so they could properly kill it. I was wrong with the customer, but probably not wrong about the death of Digg. The past months it has been flooded by spammers and reporting them is pointless (nothing is done). Good luck, Betaworks, with cleaning up the mess.

Digg girl (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634755)

Did the half mil include the Digg Girl?

$500,000 is probably what it's really worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40634949)

Come on, a site where people post stories and they get voted on. What value does it add for people using it? Where's the stickiness?. $200 million would have been a joke. That's the problem with these types of sites, they get uber hyped up then they crash. I'm surprised that it wasn't killed sooner. What's next, a site for voting on the best video of paint drying? Digg epitomises what's bad about the Valley, lame idea's overly hyped up - and clueless VC's throwing money at anything that moves.
There was a time in which the valley actually produced something useful - and was staffed by really really smart people, not people who think that they're smart. Where are the Dave Packard's etc... of this world?

problem? (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | more than 2 years ago | (#40634957)

I can digg it!

Isn't "Digg it" the same as "jumping the shark?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40635121)

I mean it's already been dugg to death.

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