The news just came in a few days ago, Digg Was sold to Betaworks for just USD$500,000. This for a website that turned down an offer $200million from Google last year. The fall from grace is spectacular, even by dot-com standards.
Most laypeople haven’t heard of Digg, but 4 to 5 years years ago, for me it was the greatest website on the face of the Internet. It’s basically a news aggregator, where people submit in interesting stories, and other people up vote them if they like it. The popular stories stay longer on the front page, the unpopular ones get voted down. It’s a simple premise, and due to some support from some key users in the early years, it became started to become the new cool along with other sites almost similar sites like reddit, slashdot and shoutwire.
It’s kind of difficult to encapsulate why it found I Digg so exciting. It was my newsfeed, i learnt tons of stuff about photography, website building astronomy, politics and the ilk. It introduced me to other cult websites like xkcd, askmen, deviantart. All with the help of millions and millions of anonymous users across the world sharing the same passion for Digg. For a period of 3 to 4 years, I hardly missed a single page of update. Even when i went on holiday without net access, I’d come back read through 40 to 50 pages.
But then something started to change. New updates made the site slower and harder to load, especially the older pages. And subtly, too, the general content started to skew away from my interest. There are tons of articles out there giving the key reasons why it started to go downhill.
But yeah, so now Digg has become a footnote in net history. Reddit is still as strong as ever, with their lolcats and rage comics. Slashdot had always been too serious for me and I had never like the shouty Shoutwire. In the meantime, though, everyone’s too busy with Facebook these days.