Digg: a view from an apathetic user
I've been a regular, usually daily, visitor of digg.com since a few weeks after it's launch. I even spent time working back through the pages to get to the beginning. I can confidently say I have seen almost every front-page story headline on there. I guess I click on about 20% of the stories I see.
In it's early days it didn't seperate out content. When it brought in seperate filters to show just pictures, or just video, I didn't care. I wanted to see it all and make my own decisions. After a while I started to see patterns emerge. For example whenever a new XKCD comic was released it would appear on the front page. For a while it became more of an announce list than a news aggregator. The same 'sources' would appear just with new content. I realised then that it had probably got too big to ever be the same again.
I don't want to pick on Kevin Rose, or any of the other Digg staff. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to try and please everyone and in a way I'm sorry they've tried to do that. But I guess they have investors and revenue is the bottom-line.
Like I said, I've been an almost daily visitor for years but I've never used my account there. I don't 'digg' things. I don't bury things. I don't look in 'upcoming'. I don't comment. What I liked about digg to start with, what made it truly unique to me was that the community curated the content for me. I liked the fact that I wasn't obliged to take part, I could just consume.
The sad truth today is that since the launch of the new Digg I look maybe two or three times per week. It still has loads of great content and I still get something out of the experience. It seems though that I'm almost being forced to log in, find people to follow, put together 'My news'. I just feel I won't get the wonderfully obscure surprises that Digg used to throw up for.
I don't blame Digg for this at all. It's like we're old friends that go back a long way but have clearly grown apart. I still have a lot of affection for the service and how ground-breaking it appeared to me at the time. I'll still visit and use it, but it just ain't the same.