Is Digg Becoming Irrelevant?

If you have a lot of traffic, you instantly get a large valuation in the internet industry but what if your service stops working as it’s supposed to? Digg had a novel solution to the social discovery issue: let users vote on the articles they like most. It’s an effective model however it is most effective at doing one thing: determining what content its community likes most. Want to know what the general web likes or what various segments of the internet likes? You won’t be able to find that out with Digg.

Community Moderation Is Crowd Sourced Editorial

What’s the difference between a digital media company which creates editorial content and a platform which lets the users determine what content to serve up? Well nothing actually if you consider Alley Insider’s latest valuations of Gawker Media and Digg accurate. They currently value both companies at $190 million. Digg has a much easier business model though as they let the community generate all the content.

The result is that numerous startups have been created around community moderated content, all attempting to go after various verticals. The aggregator model is excellent if you are a fan of the people aggregating the content. Unfortunately though Digg doesn’t really solve the greater relevance problem facing the social web, although they were previously hyped as though they would solve that problem.

We Still Want Smart Aggregation

It still takes way too much work to sift through all the user generated content on the web. While the social streams are becoming public, developers are still struggling to generate effective algorithms which cut out the noise. Often times we turn to editors to find the most effective content on the web. That’s what keeps blogs alive, right? Other times we turn to the community.

Perhaps these two models will serve as the most effective social discovery systems for the next few years. As Erick Schonfeld of Techcrunch regularly complains: there’s still nothing out there to cut down on the noise. All I see popping up is more service to help me visualize the noise and to those services providers I say: thanks but no thanks. Why do I need a more creative way for illustrating the fact that I can’t consume the most relevant information streaming around the web?

What’s The Solution?

I wish I could present the solution to the problem but alas I can’t, I’m a mere blogger. However there are now countless ways to find the most “interesting” content on the web but none of them work perfectly for me. Do you know of a solution to the problem? How long do you think it will be before we come up with a way to filter through all the social media content being generated on the web?

Publish date: October 29, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT