Social news site Digg is in a bit of trouble with its users.
The link-aggregating site recently unveiled a long-awaited redesign, and left fans fuming. The new design favors personalization, allowing you to “follow” certain publishers, in a form similar to Twitter. However, many are now complaining that the new Digg gives too much power to publishers and not enough power to users.
In its previous versions, the only way to submit content to Digg was to manually submit it. But in version 4, media companies (like TIME) could automatically submit all their articles to Digg. For example, this new feature, combined with technical glitches, led to a NewsFeed quote post about Paris Hilton to remain on Digg’s front page for hours on end on Saturday. This was cool for us, but if we were Digg users we’d probably want to read something longer than a few sentences. Users seemed to agree, with commenters using the post as an example of Digg “going corporate” and neglecting users. Another new development, the absence of the “bury” button to remove stories you didn’t like, meant that disapproving users couldn’t do a thing about it.
Digg users weren’t taking this lying down. Many changed their profile images into anti-Digg messages, and some declared today “Abandon Digg Day.” But the best revenge? Teaming up with the enemy. So many enraged Digg fans jumped ship and headed to competitor Reddit that the latter’s moderators posted a Reddit 101 guide for new users. And as icing on the betrayal cake, one intrepid Digg-hater set up an automatic feed on Digg of Reddit posts. With the help of fellow users “up-voting” these posts, the front page of Digg is filled with Reddit links.
Reddit’s loving the attention. It’s reaping the benefits of this snafu — and it even tweaked its logo to look more like Digg’s. Now it’s up to Digg to get its users to come back.