Back in 2005 and 2006 when I started blogging Digg was one of the catalysts that helped get the word round, and I'm forever thankful for that. Soon thereafter the site deteriorated when users started to game the system for fun but more often than that for money.
If you paid enough, power users made sure that your site would hit the front page. Even worse, some users used their voting power to down vote excellent stories when they were from sites they did not like, or voicing views that they did not share.
I eventually had enough and decided to delete the Digg bookmark and never look back. Fast forward to today. A few weeks ago Digg was sold, and the company that bough the site's contents and userbase promised to launch a redesign of the site in August 2012.
A first mockup of the design along with information about what the company intents to change have been posted on the Rethink Digg website. What you will notice right away is that the new homepage will look more like the frontpage of a portal or newspaper than how Digg, and other news aggregator sites like Reddit, look like usually.
More pressing than a new design are changes to the site's voting system, and that's something that the developers plan to address with priority. Instead of just relying on votes by Digg users, the new system will also take into account Facebook likes and Twitter shares. While this may sound like a solid addition to prevent gaming of the system, it may in turn favor large sites like Mashable with its incredible amount of shares per article.
To avoid this from happening, the new Digg is putting moderators in charge to determine whether articles should be placed on the service's frontpage, and putting more weight on votes by Digg users than on the other metrics.
Good news is, the new owners do away with the controversial Diggbar and newsroom feature.
Success and failure depends largely on the score system, and whether it introduces a level playing field for all types of websites, or whether it will again be an aggregation of news stories posted on the top 100 or so sites on the Internet with smaller sites only appearing occasionally in the mix.
Do you think that Digg can be turned around or is it too late for that? I certainly will check out the new site and monitor it for a couple of days once it launches to see how it turns out to be.
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