How to Screw up Years of Content, Links & Community Digg Style!

Digg the once popular social media news website is under a rebranding from its new owners Betaworks after being acquired last month for $500,000.  Yesterday they launched Digg V1 which apparently started from square one with “fresh code” approximately six weeks ago.  The team of 10 from ReThink Digg really did start from scratch and lost most of the value they paid.  You can’t even call it a social news site anymore as most of the social aspects are gone.

Design & User Experience

At first look many don’t get the new look or the functionality for that matter.

Digg’s V1 has removed the community form the website.  Sure one of the biggest downfalls was the poor voting system that was easily manipulated by armies of diggers trying to promote their own content. There answer was to remove the community factors and hire news editors.  I completely understand how this is a step in the right direction by removing the up-voting mobs that ruined Digg in the first place.  What I don’t understand is how they removed the community almost altogether.

Where are the categories? At least the main news websites have categories.  Not the new Digg. When you are looking at the new Digg it almost feels like the news was just spit out all over the screen.  They have sports stories next to politic stories and science next to poker and if you are not interested in a subject too bad.

Login Fail

Digg now only allows users to sign in with their Facebook account.  I know this is to help fight the spam but a good majority of people don’t like to use their Facebook logins all over the Internet.  It would be helpful to add at least one more option. There are those that are paranoid and there are some that just dislike Facebook and refuse to use them as a login.

The main problem I see now is there is no community.  Where can people comment? Are people really going to submit news stories just for the sake of submitting? Maybe for a while but most won’t stick around. There is no conversation and no reason to stick around.

Establish Traffic

OK, to be fair Digg’s traffic has been in the dumps for a long time.  Just in the past year alone they have lost more than 50% of their traffic but at a little over 1.3 million visitors per month most companies would die to have their traffic.

Social Fail

You can tweet and you can share on Facebook but beyond that there isn’t much do to.  The most successful social media sites are about sharing.  The new Digg V1 doesn’t have any way of of allowing members to be social within their own website.

Another drawback is all users are starter over. The loyal users that have established connections over the past seven years need to start over.  All the profiles and related data are no longer accessible.

SEO Fail – 14,000,000 404’s

It is clear Digg isn’t consulting with any search engine optimization companies as all the old pages are now 404’s. I doubt any SEO consultant would not be on top of that. That’s over 14,000,000 pages of 404’s.  Many rank on the first page of Google and I’m sure contribute in a huge way to their 1.3 million monthly visitors.

SEO Fail – No New Content

The stories have no permanent links on Digg itself.  No chance for user created content or a way for Digg V1 to add new pages to their website.  Essential Digg is currently a homepage of news stories. .  Don’t we have this already?  Google News. Yahoo news.  Do we really need Digg news?

What They Did Well

In all fairness it’s not all bad.  Digg did seem to remove all those advertisements that got in the way of a good user experience.  They also have successfully removed the voting factors from the mobs that ruined Digg in the first place.