In the past couple years, Digg.com has taken its licks. After experiencing incredible growth soon after being founded by Kevin Rose in 2004, the site hit a high point in 2007 and Digg began to roll out changes that led to a series of user complaints which culminated in 2010 soon after the release of version 4. A mass exodus of Digg’s top users and a general feeling of disenchantment among story commentors suggested Digg’s inevitable demise.
Some time has passed, and I haven’t visited Digg since the the trolls took over after Diggv4 was launched. Kevin Rose made his exit and new CEO Matt Williams came in to attempt to clean up the mess. I assumed it couldn’t be done, but Digg’s Newsrooms feature has changed my mind.
Digg Newsrooms is a recent addition that aims to filter the news from the noise; fortunately, it has proven to do this quite well! Back in Digg’s heyday, much of the front page was devoted to tech-related news with the occasional meme or cat photo. As the user base grew, memes and lolcats overwhelmed real news and Digg quickly began to lose relevance as a place to stay current. Newsrooms allow you to subscribe to particular topics (Technology, Science, Apple, and more) and display only the most valuable news in that area. Simply stated, I’m impressed and I use it everyday.
Digg makes a good point in saying that valuable and popular news are not that same thing, using Rebecca Black as a prime example for splashes in the music industry. The Newsrooms algorithm factors in how often an article is linked on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as activity by top Diggers. The result is a more meaningful stream of news that reminds me of those good old days when Digg was king.
Give it a try for a week, and I bet you’ll be hooked. The new Digg beats the pants off Google News and has overtaken Twitter as my primary source of news. The bonus is that Digg comments are once again tolerable, as a large number of inflammatory ex-Diggers now reside at Reddit.
Williams and Digg have scored a big win with Newsrooms, and they’ve won back a once devout user. If Newsrooms is an indicator of things to come, I expect Digg to be around for a long while, and I’ll be along for the ride.