Shout it out! Digg won’t let you share anymore
Posted by Gareth Crew on 27th May 09
Today was an interesting day, I loaded up a post onto a blog that I have been lovingly caring for over the past months and I really liked it and was very proud of it. So proud was I that I wanted to share it with my friends, so I hopped over to Digg, uploaded it; marked it as a favourite and decided to shout it to my 230 odd friends.
Something was wrong. I looked, I looked and looked again. I thought Digg was loading up wrong (it takes ages to load round here) but the Shout functionality has gone. Poof. Just like that. If you wish to share a post, you’re encouraged, via the toolbar! to Tweet it or post it to your Facebook page, then share it that way.
Now Digg have been trying to get a higher public profile for a while now. First off, they introduced the Digg bar (I think enough has been said about that so far) and now they’ve removed internal communication to give themselves a nice talking point, especially in Twitter. Search #Digguser and you’ll see what I mean.
Another aim of the removal of the shout is to stop power accounts being able to dominate the front page. Basically they will stop people who have 1,000 and 1,000 of friends get an instant amount of diggs straight away and catapult their story ahead of possibly more relevant pieces. But these power accounts are there for a reason, and all of these big hitters were perfectly prepared for this removal of shouting and have embedded their IM and FB profiles into their shouts for weeks. If you look on the front page today, it’s not much different.
Also, I imagine another key reason for Digg removing this is to cut down on Spam and mindless digging. If you have many, many friends and are active on Digg, you do spend a lot of time digging shouts that are sent to you, even if you don’t like the article or read it. It’s sort of a quid pro quo that allows you to get the Diggs you need. Of course, Digg’s algorithm spots that sort of behaviour in an instant, but if you’re anything like me, English and polite, you feel compelled to keep your ‘friends’ happy.
But for the normal user – what use are your friends now? What is the next step to communicating to your Diggerati? Well, you could spend a lot of your time (now the shout functionality has gone) getting all of their Facebook/IM/Twitter details or you could just forget Digg, and concentrate on other sites where either their communication terms are different and respected (Reddit) or are well established, like Twitter, Stumbleupon and Facebook.
And talking of Stumbleupon, they have completely gone the other way this year. Before you couldn’t send your stories to all your friends, but now you can.
So, who’s right? Which is going to be the tool that is going to win out in the end? Will it be Twitter and Facebook, who appear to be aiming to be the conduits for all sites or will it be sites like Mixx and StumbleUpon who let you share primarily through their own sites and wants to keep all this cool stuff, even though it’s Spammy, in their pages?
Digg thinks they know, and so do Stumbleupon – but what do you think?
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