Thursday, January 31, 2008

Taking a Small Sabbatical

Again: This blog will not be updated regularly. But when a good Digger decides to step down for an undetermined amount of time - I think we should take notice.

From the shout:
Hi there to all my digg friends,

In the light of recent events, and we all know as to what I'm referring to, the final straw has broken the proverbial camel's back. I will no longer be participating in digg, that is until "trust me" promises are adhered to.

Hopefully I'll see you guys and gals either over at Mixx, Pownce, Facebook or google.mail.

Please keep me informed as to whether KR & Co have sat up and taken notice.

Take care.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Revoltnation in the New York Times - The Real Issue At Hand

Regardless of how you feel towards top-diggers (and this has never been an issue of "top diggers versus others" - and anybody who falls into that trap misunderstands the issue) you have to recognize something is important when the New York Times, the paper of record, publishes a story on it.

"Top Digg Users Revolt Against Algorithm Change on Site"

My only complaint about the story and how the larger community has taken it: The issue at hand is about transparency. Algorithm change, top diggers, cult of personality -- all of this falls to the wayside. They are all a distant second.

Transparency is what makes a democracy run well. That is what we want - and it is upon the word of Jay and Kevin that they will provide a mode of communication that this mini-protest got called off. Let's hope they follow through. Once that communication is set up, I hope we continue to break down the walls to make Digg a more transparent place.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Resolution? Kevin and Jay Join the Drill Down - Discussion Begins

Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose joined the chat.


They denied autoburies, claim that banned users deserve it and that the algorithm changes are for the best of the community.

We can take all that on faith. What we cannot accept is a lack of communication.

That is exactly why this blog started. We need a forum to address our concerns so they can answer them without having to go through mini-revolts.

The agreed and we are going to give them a month to set up this mode of communication.

Check out The Drill Down for an edited version of the conversation.

This does prove, however, that Kevin and Jay recognize the importance of the active users. Digg is about the community. Without us the site is nothing

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Resolution? Kevin and Jay Join the Drill Down

Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose joined the chat.

Kevin - downloading skype

Jay - addressed the issue of how many diggs it takes to get to the front page. Can't give a concrete answer - as it would compromise Digg.

Unfortunately U-Stream cuts in and out. Eventually cut-out completely.

I am not a fan of closed door conversations - it harbors back to our original complaints.

Eventually the conversation opened up again. Jay and Kevin chatted for a long time. An edited version of the Drill Down will show up. Things will move on from there.

Resolution #1: No Digging Till Monday

The Drill Down is on LIVE right now.

A chatroom of over 70 prominent Diggers has agreed to stop digging until Monday. The hope is that Kevin and Jay will respond to the open letter by then. Mr.BabyMan has invited Jay and Kevin on The Drill Down to discuss issues.

On Monday (or Tuesday if we are feeling lazy) they will reconvene to decide what is the next thing to do (will the boycott continue or will concerns be met).

Until then: Don't contribute to Digg, but DO NOT spam, auto-bury or do anything unproductive.

Go out and participate at a different social news site -- think of it as an adventure.

Digg is a Game - Let's Play For Real This Time

We, the undersigned (comment to join) are ready to find out if there is more to social bookmarking than Digg. We are going to stop submitting to Digg. The alternatives are plenty - now is the time to venture into new territory. As we organize we will evaluate and find a new space.

When a digital identity, like a Digg account, becomes penalized through its consistent interaction with a website we assume that site falls into one of two categories. Either (a. The site in question is ill-suited to become a healthy social network. or (b. The premise of the social network is such that it is based on competition.

Digg is, in part, a game. It always has been - and that is one of the reasons we love it. That it helped us share useful, entertaining or interesting content only made it that much more fun.

Unfortunately the rules to the game have never been under the community's full control. As far as we can tell, the rule-makers barely listen to us. The latest change in the algorithm, along with rumors of secret editors, auto-buries, etc., have led us to believe it is time to break ties with

Here are a list of the main charges against Digg:

1) Lack of communication and disregard for the Digg community
Digg is not a newspaper, a magazine, or a blog. It produces no content of its own and is entirely dependent upon its users for traffic. Digg users hunt down the stories online, craft the descriptions and titles, digg the stories, provide all the comments. Despite this dependency, anecdotal evidence suggests that Digg has repeatedly failed to respond to its users and address their concerns.

2) Unexplained and unacknowledged banning of top users
cGt2099, Emobrat, and others who have submitted hundreds of quality stories to Digg were recently banned under suspicious circumstances. Digg did not acknowledge these bannings, nor make any public explanation as to why they took place. These are not the actions of a "democratic news site."

3) Lack of transparency – Digg only shows you the stories that people have dugg, but not the ones that are buried.

This has resulted in the birth and flourishing of bury brigades, whose existence has gone unacknowledged, but which undoubtedly have the capability to shape what content gets onto the front page without any interference or objection from other Digg users.

4) The auto-bury list – For months, dozens of sites have been on an auto-bury list, often with no explanation whatsoever.
These sites often get submitted to Digg and then are invariably buried after a certain amount of time. While it's up to Digg what sites it wants to allow, it's important that if it brands itself as a democratic news site, it makes clear why it bans these sites.

5) Repeated and flagrant disrespect of its top users
Digg's top users generate roughly 30-50% of Digg's front page content but repeated and unexplained changes to the Digg algorithm have penalized the ability of top users to get front page stories promoted. Perhaps worst of all, this has resulted in other stories from lower ranked users with less diggs being forced off the "Hot In Upcoming" pages and hurt their ability to shine.

In short - the site has become too powerful a media force and its lack of transparency and faith in the community is reason for concern. In addition, the allure of instant traffic has led to the manipulation and abuse of the site by tolls and spammers.

The colletive "WE" built this site from the ground up and while it is sad to leave it, the time has come to move on. We as a loose group of social bookmarkers will find a new community that will allow us to stay in touch and stay informed.

If Digg is a game then we are ready to play for keeps. What happens if the users in the community decide to leave? Will others join? Is Digg anything without us? Let's prove it.