What’s Next for Digg?
by Liz Colville
When it comes to online journalism, Digg is the poster child of Web 2.0. On Digg, the people make the editorial decisions about what floats and what sinks. The site is ad-supported, but remains privately owned and without the trappings of a social network. What’s the next move?
In an interview with the Guardian this June, Digg founder Kevin Rose explained the essence of the site, which has garnered 3 million registered users since its launch in 2004. “People want to have a voice and a say in what is news. We’ve levelled the playing field by accepting all other forms of content, whether it’s sources from CNN, the Guardian ... it’s about seeing what the masses want to surface.”
Whether Digg makes money or not will have to do with the success of its advertising platforms. But Digg is itself working as an advertising platform for other sites. The blog ReadWriteWeb noted in late 2007 that “Getting to the front page of Digg leads to such a traffic surge that it has been known to cripple web servers.” There is a complex science behind Digg popularity; it can be as complicated and as challenging to make money from them as from Google AdWords and AdSense, two highly popular text ad services. Even velocity is a factor in Digg popularity—“The faster diggs come, the more likely for the story to pop to the front page.” This bit of science reflects how quickly something buzz-worthy can be lost in the thick of other developments.