Digg was the original social news website – users voted for articles they liked and the most popular articles made it to the homepage.
For a few years Digg was one of the most popular sites on the internet. Now, it’s practically dead. So what went wrong?
Over time, a small group of “elite” users built up a reputation for always contributing interesting content, they acquired a loyal following, and consequently their posts were much more likely to make it to the homepage.
Some users started to complain that this “elite” group of people had too much influence on the site and Digg changed their website’s code so that everyone had a more “equal” influence.
Predictably (for us), the “elite” users didn’t appreciate their years of effort and contributions being ignored and took their “business” elsewhere.
Rather than re-invigorating the website, trying to treat all their users equally lead to the death of the website as all their talented contributors headed off elsewhere.
Is Digg’s story a metaphor that we should learn from?