SiliconFilter

Digg Reminds People It’s Not Dead Yet and Still Gets 17 Million Uniques (Reddit: 28 Million)

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You know things aren’t going well for a website when it has to come out and deny rumors that its traffic has fallen 50% over the last few months by sharing its actual Google Analytics numbers. It’s even worse when these numbers, while better than the rumors, are actual far lower than those of your closest competitor. That’s the state of Digg.com today, a site that used to be a darling of the Web 2.0 movement in its early days, with a vibrant and active community around it, but which fell from grace when it made some misguided changes that alienated exactly those users it needed the most.

After repeated rumors that its numbers were falling dramatically, Digg had to actually post its Google Analytics numbers on its blog yesterday. These numbers show that the site still gets about 17 million unique visitors a month. While Digg has to be defensive about these numbers, though, its competitors at Reddit – which used to be much smaller before Digg’s missteps last year – now celebrate 28 million uniques in October. Digg argues that because close to 50% of its visitors come to the site directly, monitoring firms like Compete can’t accurately measure its traffic.

Digg’s Problems Go Deeper than its Traffic Numbers

Getting 17 million unique visitors is a respectable number, even though Reddit now dwarf Digg easily. The company’s problems go much deeper than just pure traffic, though. It has lost its most active users, who used to keep the site stocked with interesting stories. Earlier this year, Digg actually had to hire some editors to search the site for interesting stories and highlight them manually so they wouldn’t get lost.

Its users also aren’t as active as they used to be. Where top stories used to need close to 100 votes to even appear on the site’s front page, some stories can now get on the frontpage and move all the way down without ever reaching 100 votes. Stories with more than 1,000 votes were pretty normal on Digg just two years ago.

As a comparison: On Reddit, stories now regularly get 3,000 or more votes and hundred or even thousands of comments.

What’s most disturbing on Digg is that the community that was once so active now barely exists. Stories can move all the way down the front page with just 2 or 3 comments.

So while Digg may be posting some positive numbers today, chances are, it won’t be able to do so for a very long time anymore. It may linger around for a while, but eventually, it won’t be able to make it unless Reddit really messes up and drives its users to go to Digg again.



4:35 pm


Kevin Rose’s Oink: Stop Rating Places – Rate the Stuff Inside Them Instead

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Oink, the first product to come out of Digg-founder Kevin Rose‘s Milk project, launched on iOS earlier this week. At this point, the thought of seeing yet another location-based app that lets you rate things may induce some involuntary yawning in you. After testing it for a while now, though, I have to say that while I was highly skeptical of trying yet another app in this space, Oink actually puts enough of a twist on the genre to be interesting and to become a potential challenger to similar services like Foursquare (or even Yelp) in the long run.

The big difference between Oink and Foursquare or Yelp is that Oink doesn’t focus on places so much as on the things inside them. Instead of rating a local restaurant, for example, you would rate the pizza you had there. While it uses your location to make it easier for you to tag your discoveries, it doesn’t bother you with pointless check-ins.

Oink ios discoverThe app features the usual fixings you would expect from this kind of service: an activity stream, the ability to discover popular things around you, access to your profile and, of course, the ability to add your own ratings, photos and comments. While the app is extremely well designed, though, the real game-changer here isn’t so much the app itself, but the idea that users care more about finding interesting things or the best coffee around than the best restaurant or store

Rate Anything

In many ways, adding this granularity to these kinds of apps is really the next evolutionary step. After all, that cool coffee shop where all the hipsters hang out with their Macbook Airs may make a mean espresso, but may not actually make that great iced coffee you really want right now. While it clearly looks forward, though, Oink is also a throwback to the old days of Web 2.0, as its tagging system lets users tag virtually anything with any tag without imposing any clear structure.

Oink also goes beyond location by allowing you to rate and tag virtually anything. There is plenty of talk about books and games on the system right now, for example.

As users rate more items related to tags they are using, they will gain “cred.” This ramification element may attract some of the more competitive folks out there, but there are no Foursquare-like discounts to be had yet (which in return means you don’t have to worry about retaining your mayorship either, of course).

Verdict

Overall, then, Oink puts enough of a twist on this genre to be interesting – something that can’t be said about most of the new entrants in this oversaturated market for ratings+photo sharing apps. As any new service, it suffers from the fact that there isn’t much of a community on it yet – especially if you don’t live in San Francisco – but I’ve got a feeling that it will quickly attract a very dedicated following.



5:30 pm


Back to Beta: Delicious Returns With a New Design and Focus

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Delicious, the venerable Web 2.0 social bookmarking site once known as del.icio.us, debuted its new design and feature set today. After its sale to Yahoo, the site lingered in extended hibernation for years, but it was finally acquired by the YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen earlier this year. The two promised to restore Delicious to its former glory and to start adding new features soon. Today, Delicious is launching its new design which favors large, bold images over the text-centric view of the previous design. In the best tradition of Web 2.0 sites, it is also calling the service, which has been online since 2003, a ‘beta.’

As for new features, Delicious is now offering its users the ability to curate ‘stacks’ of links. These are lists of links to sites, photos and/or videos that you can then share with others one the service (or the rest of the Web, of course). Delicious calls them “playlists for the Web.” You can also follow stacks from other users.

new_delicious

Familiar Design + A Few New Features = A Good Start of the New Delicious

While the new owners obviously made some changes to the overall design, the general feel of the site will still feel very familiar to those who used Delicious in the past. The blue and white color scheme, for example, is still there. Some of the other changes are minor, but point toward the general direction the new owners are planning to take the site: the navigation has been simplified, bookmarks are now called links, and users can set profile pictures. The new owners also promise to make the site more social than ever before.

At the same time, it’s also important to note that all the tools in the Delicious ecosystem (browser extensions, bookmarklets etc.) and the service’s API will continue to work.

Some Problems

There are some issues with the new site, though. There are, for example, no RSS feeds anymore that you could subscribe to. Those users who forgot to opt-in to transfer their bookmarks to the new site by logging in over the last few weeks will now also come to the site and realize that their login credentials won’t work anymore and that all of their old bookmarks are gone.

Overall though, it feels as if the new Delicious is off to a good start. The new homepage looks far more inviting than the original one and the focus seems to be shifting more toward discovery than just the basic Web 2.0 staple of bookmarking and tagging sites.

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4:57 pm