Digg: Timeline of a User Revolt

by Ruud Hein January 24th, 2008 

riot 00:00 – Digg goes down for maintenance. When it comes back, something has changed…

01:00  – The Digg Algorithm has Changed

"Digg went down today for a short time.  The results may be that many diggers will go down for a long time."

12:15 – Two Diggs One Cup

"Digg has pretty much taken a crap in a cup, and asked everyone, including even the top diggers, to partake in the offering. It now takes (barring a miracle, or a massive, collective pre-planned quick-strike diggfest), around 200 diggs to go popular, which leaves many (including me) to wonder… is Digg TRYING to drive away users, and if so, why?"

19:00 – Digg confirms changes

"One of the keys to getting a story promoted is diversity in Digging activity. When the algorithm gets the diversity it needs, it will promote a story from the Upcoming section to the home page. This way, the system knows a large variety of people will be into the story."

21:00 – uniteDigg is a Game – Let's Play For Real This Time

" We, the undersigned (comment to join) are ready to find out if there is more to social bookmarking than Digg. We are going to stop submitting to Digg."

21:45 – 200 Diggs 1 Voice: Diggers Had Enough

"There was a time when about 30 to 40 diggs on any given story would be promoted to the front page of Digg. That time has obviously come and gone, as we have seen an increase in the number of diggs it takes to reach the front page.

For some users, it now can take upward of 200 diggs."

24:00 – Emergency meeting Digg power users

"commandThe goal of the algorithmic change is to get a more diverse number of people to Digg the stories on upcoming. This diversity is not necessarily affected by whether the users digging the stories are friends or fans. It's more of an overall picture of user behavior. (The concern of the users, however, is that not many regular Digg users visit the Upcoming section of Digg. This was not addressed in the chat.)"

03:19 – Revolution Resolved

"after 2 hours of heated discussion (just as we had made a solved collective decision to boycott digg for a week), to our amazement and delight, kevin rose and jay adelson actually showed up in the chat room, and proceeded to spend over an hour with us on the live chat, one-by-one discussion all our concerns (which we had listed in our open letter to digg) and promising quick solutions"

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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3 Responses to “Digg: Timeline of a User Revolt”

  1. Just another Digg revolt. If you notice every time a small group thinks it has the power to move whole groups off to another site ( I tried it as well with a few power players for another site) there is a revolt. Revolts are normal as the chiefs of each little group all want to be Chiefs or the power brokers behind other sites that they have more control over.
    With each revolt witness a 'new digg clone' usually based in Pligg's open source software.
    Some of these sites will be decent, some great, but none will de-throne Digg as the King. They are too entrenched and accepted.
    A revolution every now and then is a good thing I think.
    Let's just keep it in perspective and realize that there will always be another revolt. There will always be revolts orchestrated by the very same people too on sites like Digg, just with their multiple personalities.
    I understand how some get upset with some of the closed accounts and all but look at this whole thing from Digg's standpoint.
    You have a great site that is gamed constantly and the pissed off people are the people who realize that their game is greatly affected when Digg changes things. Especially when accounts are closed for good or even for the wrong reasons.
    If you factor in the issues that Digg has to deal with like vote buying and sites like subvert, then you understand that they have to do what they are doing, or Digg really will be broken.

  2. Ruud Hein says:

    You make some good points, Michael. Thanks.

    Although this type of event has been witnessed elsewhere on the net before, it's interesting to see how these things play out on a social site like Digg.

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