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Sunday, February 17th, 2008, 6:11 am

2006: The Year That Digg Was a Technology Site

Praising the past rather than criticizing the present

DIGG, at least as a technology site, seems to be dying. It’s ironic because it actually started as a technology site — the very same part which is being sidelined. Very few technology stories make the front page and those which do can sometimes be described as ‘fluff’, not news. This was pointed out by some other people before. The observation made the front page, too.

The days of my Digg raves remain far behind. Here is one such rave. These were the golden days, or “a honeymoon” as my online friend Derek once called it (he was the number 3 Digger at one stage, if I recall correctly). I seem to recall having 4 or 5 (!!) of my stories appearing in the front page of Digg at the very same time back in 2006. These were news items. They were about GNU/Linux mostly.

I have noticed a decline in Digg’s population, based on active participation. In fact, Alexa rank — as silly as it may be — has dropped for Digg. Jumping the shark? I don’t know. I carry on submitting to Digg, but for the first time in almost 2 years I no longer read Digg. Too much noise, too little signal. I have better feeds to read.

Unless Digg changes and stops being (already becoming?) a link farm to bloggers/submitters, then it’s “so long, Digg.” It was a nice ride though.

Interestingly enough, it’s not the stalkers/shills that drove me away. It’s Digg’s inherent problems. It becomes a dumpster of content. In a a way, I’m happy that Digg had itself ruined because it makes my departure Digg’s fault, so to speak.

At the moment, since Digg as a technology site is dying (and to me it’s a fact), I gradually leave it and I asked for advice on finding rare stories (i.e. those that LinuxToday, FSDaily and Lxer tend to miss). I used to be using search feeds, syndicating hundreds of blogs, and a combination thereof. I’m experimenting with new information pipes.

Speaking of Digg, take with a grain of salt whatever you see in Digg. 4+ people there mod down all my comments systematically and post slanderous remarks about me. They do the same thing in USENET and Slashdot where they exist as “anonymous coward”. It’s the same old tricks from OS/2 days and some of the very same people.

Will Digg ever take care of shills in their site? Will they? They never did. Not even a response from them on the particular subject. 4 people systematically mod down all my comment (example from arbitrary few hours alone). If people do this for months and within a few hours, it’s no hobby or obsession. It’s hard to believe these people aren’t paid to do this. Then it become easy to watch them attacking the messenger. Classic!

Digg has become a junkyard for corporations and users should be rightly concerned.

Digg contains and gives room to notorious characters like “flatfish” (a Microsoft shill better known as Gary Stewart). That’s the guy who is part of the group (in Digg and elsewhere) which spreads false rumours about me, including the lie that I’m transsexual, that I have a criminal record, that I molest children and whatever… you name it, they did it. It’s a smear campaign. One just needs to add these shills to the blocklist and tell the Microsoft buddies at Digg (they are business partners now, having signed an advertising deal) to address this problem which they continue to ignore.

3 Responses to “2006: The Year That Digg Was a Technology Site”

  1. richard Says:

    I agree, Digg is at best a link farm. They offer nothing new for the surfer. It is full of webmaster’s Digging their own articles to get traffic. With the proliferation of these scripts now on the market, sites like netscape have got it right in just using this type of service as an adjunct to their existing website. When the novelty disappears, so will the service. Hopefully, in the meantime, link farms like Digg and Stumble will disappear quickly unless they re-invent themselves.

  2. Wayne Says:

    The recent digg algorithm changes were an attempt at reversing this dumpster effect, where before you might be able to get 50 diggs in 24 hours and almost be guaranteed a front page, now I’ve seen hundreds of diggs on upcoming articles waiting for the “thought police” unseen and unsung moderators…

    Honestly I’m surprised you aren’t one of em. ;-)

  3. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    I friend sent me the following E-mail an hour ago:

    time for a Digg fork?

    For some time now, a group of friends have been discussing the fact that Digg seems to be controlled by a professional astroturfers. Stories about Apple and Microsoft make the fp a lot, and FOSS less so.

    Maybe we should respond by creating a separate service with a completely different URL that just mirrors the FOSS stories there, and stop going to digg itself. We could then have a place to go to read FOSS-related stories, without having to plough through all of the news about proprietary code that is not interesting to us. It would also be a good business model. And, coincidentally, the digg software is FOSS, AFAIK, and so is forkable. I think that FS daily uses it.

    I guess FSDaily is already out there, but it’s a case of preaching to the converted or the choir and the audience is rather small (I know because I see the effects of front page stories there quite occasionally).

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