It is no secret that Webblogs Inc. (The owner of DownloadSquad and independent arm of AOL) despises Digg. Kevin Rose and Jason Calacanis have engaged in a public ego fest, where both tech ‘big wigs’ beat their chest on who is better.
To add fuel to the fire, Jason Clarke via Downloadsquad, has posted a comprehensive opinion on WHY digg is destined for failure. He is certainly not alone in his thoughts about the destructive tendencies of Digg, as these sentiments are echoed across the blogosphere.
I reserve the right not to comment, but I am interested to know how much you agree or disagree with the article.
If you’ve ever had the good fortune of having one of your websites or blog posts dugg to the point of showing up on digg’s homepage, you’ve enjoyed a huge traffic boost to your site. This is wonderful for web publishers, and I’m not going to lie and say that we don’t care about it here at Download Squad; in fact, since the success of a given post is measured in large part by the traffic it drives to our site, it’s certainly a goal of ours to have our posts make the homepage on digg.
But how valuable is digg traffic, really, and is the digg community one that we should even care about? Unfortunately, after observing the digg community for about a year, I’d have to conclude no, it’s not. Now, at this point I should point out that AOL owns Weblogs Inc, who own Download Squad, and AOL also owns Netscape, recently converted into a social news and media voting site that is in many ways similar to digg. So if you don’t think I can be objective about this, you might want to just skip this post. But I’m not here to sing the praises of Netscape over digg either. Overall, I’m not certain that social media sites like Netscape, digg, reddit, del.icio.us, or even the granddaddy of them all – Slashdot – will have any relevance whatsoever in five years.
Okay, so now that I’ve condemned a whole class of website, or really a whole class of online community, I should point out that while digg drives the largest amount of traffic of the bunch, the community at digg is actually rotting from the inside out.
This is a very inflammatory statement to make, but all it takes is to browse through the comments on few random frontpage posts at digg, and you’ll see what I mean. The sheer level of superiority, sarcasm, and general negativity is overwhelming, and makes digg a place that is not only not fun to visit, it’s certainly not a place to “share, discover, bookmark, and promote the news that’s important to you”, as digg’s tagline optimistically claims.