Will You Dig Digg 4?

By Craig Buckler
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Despite being one of the oldest and most successful social networking sites, Digg has lost ground to Facebook and Twitter during the past few years. Perhaps it’s not surprising: Digg has a more limited scope and is primarily a link sharing and content review site. Internal political struggles, high-profile staff resignations, domination by overly-powerful users, and a sedate development schedule haven’t helped either.

Digg 4 is the first major update since 2006 and it’s currently available as an alpha to several thousand users at new.digg.com (you can request an invite). The redesign focuses on 3 main areas:

All operations should be completed in under a second — a major relief from the lengthy “We’re digging through your submission” process.

I’m pleased to report that adding links — the core Digg activity — is significantly faster and easier. An Ajax-powered “Submit a link” box is available throughout the site and there’s no CAPTCHA or other checks which get in the way.

A new “My News” page provides the latest stories from people and organizations you follow.

Digg My News

Diversity of Content
Digg 4 offers better integration with other systems. For example, you can add your own RSS feed and have stories auto-Dugg. You can also import friends and share links on Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

There’s no doubt Digg 4 offers a more attractive, slicker, and pleasant experience. It’ll please existing users but I’m less certain it will attract new users or prompt infrequent visitors to return on a regular basis. The web has evolved and Digg faces stiff competition from more established news aggregators and better tools to manage your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Are you using Digg? Have you recently abandoned the service? Have you tried Digg 4? Will it appeal to new users? Comments welcome…

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  • Johnny

    I’m using the alpha and I love it. It’s actually making me use the site more and its became one of those tabs I never close.

    I think it’s gonna make infrequent users more active seeing as it has the whole followers thing now. Sure, digg always had that (in a way) but it wasn’t as prominent, and people like to have a clear number to say how successful they are on the site.

  • Digg is one of the many websites who’s mere existance totally annoys me [edited!]; because whenever anyone sends me a DIGG link, my immediate reaction is “[b]Oh for **** sake, just link me to the ACTUAL article![/b]”

    Mind you, it’s been over a year since I even followed a Digg link, and someone just sent me one a few minutes ago — and now apparently you have to sign up JUST to see their content.

    Screw THAT. Way to go guys… I think that’s going to be the final nail in their coffin.

  • Oops, forgot to review the actual new site… The login screen for the message alone speaks volumes with it’s 259k in 11 files to deliver 400 bytes of plaintext and four form elements…

    I’m particularly laughing at the use of HTML 4 tranny inside a HTML5 doctype sleazed out with dozens of containers for Christmas only knows what, the validation errors, and the non-semantic markup. (News flash, slapping numbered heading tags around all your content is NOT semantic. (especially when the H1 looks like it should be a h2 and the h2 looks like it should be a P since it’s not even a heading!… or the H2’s that look like they should be LEGENDS…)

    Alright, lets actually log into this pile of crap.

    Well, the broken layout on large font machines is quite cute — also digging that giant blank space between the header and content; lemme guess, blocked advert or flashtard garbage?

    Yup, entirely typical of the inept coding I’ve come to expect from this type of site. Someone needs to go back and actually LEARN HTML and to learn that Javascript is NOT the answer to every problem.

  • Spha

    I’ve never used digg before but i recently signed up for an account and using and i think digg 4 may appeal to alot of users specifically new users user friendly,registration are extremly quick and easy and everything is done in less then 1min max and im still new to the application so ill blog as i go about it

  • i will not follow any link or attempt to view any content i find through a search, if it requires me to register first on their site. done.

  • xodify.com

    I think the new Digg 4.0 is great. Good new features. But maybe a bit to hard to get people to notice your diggs.. Anyone needs an invite? Visit my blog, http://www.xodify.com