Yesterday, Mashable founder Pete Cashmore wrote an article for CNN entitled “The new Digg: Don’t believe the snipe.” His primary point is that Digg should not pay attention to the multitudes of its users who are upset with the site’s changes.
The San Francisco, California-based startup might be on to a winner, except for a significant hurdle — a vocal segment of Digg’s users claim to hate the new site. Here’s why Digg had to do this:
Maybe what Cashmore should have said is, Here’s why I had to endorse this. He then could have displayed the screenshot below, taken this evening, which shows the Top News page, or what used to be known as the Digg Front Page.
The checkmarks are Mashable stories. Count ‘em up.
The would be 8. Yes, 8 out 16, otherwise known as 50%. Everyone is still trying to figure out exactly how much traffic a Digg front page hit will drive in the new version of Digg, but rest assured that Mashable is seeing a nice bump of 25-30K per story over a 12-24 hour period.
Another excerpt from Cashmore’s article:
Serving publishers appears to be a focus of the new Digg. News sites are now able to push their stories into Digg’s system automatically, and the service has selected some news outlets it chooses to recommend to users. (Disclosure: These include CNN and Mashable.) Given that publishers are able to generate significant traffic for Digg by using the site’s widgets and buttons, it’s in the company’s interests to cater to this group.
Yes, and it’s clearly in Cashmore’s best interest to tout the virtues of new Digg. Mashable did well on Digg before, but it is poised to dominate Digg now, along with other gargantuan sites of its ilk.
I wonder if Cashmore would feel differently if he was just starting Mashable out. He might be a little more interested in Digg being more of a meritocracy and less than a dictatorship, because that’s exactly what new Digg is.
By the way, and I’m not kidding about this, in the 15 minutes I’ve spent writing this post, two more Mashable stories have hit the Top News page.
Must be nice.
Now look, it won’t always be this way. In fact, Kevin Rose posted earlier today about known bugs (which this has to be) and said “Our directory of recommended users will eventually open to the entire world.” Well my God, I hope so. If I want to know what’s going on at Mashable, I’ll go to Mashable.com.
Basically, new Digg right now is closer to Google News than it is to what Digg used to be and what made it great. Surely that wasn’t the intention.
Anyway, I’m sure new Digg will improve moving forward, but right now it sucks. And Pete Cashmore can say whatever he wants about how great new Digg is, but just make sure you keep in mind that he and others like him have a huge stake in the new version being accepted positively. So accept their words accordingly…with a few big, fat grains of salt.
And Kevin Rose will need more than a desperate blog post to keep the anger of his most loyal users at bay. Hopefully he’s serious about the changes still to come. Otherwise, Digg will be losing me and many others. Maybe it doesn’t care now, but at some point it will.
* – Pete Cashmore photo credit: ceoworld.biz
Jerod is the managing editor for Corporate Compliance Insights as well as Midwest Sports Fans, where he hosts a podcast, has been a guest on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, makes regular radio appearances, and has hexes named after him.