BuzzFeed: the new, new Digg?
Will 2006 go down as the year "social news" took off and flamed out? Recall that it was only last winter that Digg, the site that lets readers decide which news stories matter most, nudged Slashdot aside to become the go to site for tech news junkies. By summer, Digg had launched its strategy for more general news domination, inspired a full-on assault from AOL in the form of Jason Calacanis' reinvented Netscape.com, and been the recipient of a gushing BusinessWeek cover story. Then, of course, Conde Nast lumbered onto the social news bandwagon when it bought Reddit. That's probably when alarm bells should have started ringing.
Well, welcome to the backlash. "Digg just isn't doing anything for me to make my day easier," writes Jeff Nolan in a post titled 'I'm done with Digg.' Adds BusinessWeek's Rob Hof: "As much as I like the idea of Digg...I must confess that I just don't use it that much." Then Robert Scoble piles on: "I too unsubscribed from the general Digg feed," he writes. "Too much crap!"
And so the pendulum swings. Out of favor go people-driven sites like Digg, and guess what's suddenly all the rage? Algorithms. Where do Nolan and Hof go regularly for their headline fix? TechMeme, they say, the automatic tech blog buzz filter which also happens to be at the top of The Browser's blogroll. Indeed, the new media question of the moment is once again man vs. machine (Yahoo directory vs. the search engines, anyone?) Are you more about Google News and TechMeme or Digg and Reddit?
But here's a new data point to add to the mix: While you were away eating turkey, the tech geniuses behind Eyebeam and the Huffington Post launched BuzzFeed, a sort of hybrid--a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n roll--news site that's edited by humans but powered by algorithms.
Call us filthy moderates, but The Browser says the hybrid approach makes sense. Score one for BuzzFeed, and also for Calacanis' Netscape "Navigators," (though they're now navigating without his leadership.) Is the future of web news all about man AND machine? Your comments welcome, as always.
This is coming from the same site that said Facebook no longer mattered after it was rumored to turn down Yahoo's $750 million bid...obviously that was way off. We will see what happens to Digg
Wow. The digg bashing has gone mainstream. Hype2.0 has come to the masses.
To see the ebb and flow of social-driven news sites and how stories rise and fall within their ranks, be sure to also check out originalsignal.com, doggdot.us, and technorati.com. While I do agree that the spammers and other malicious entities are polluting Digg's river of news, I am still mesmorized by their visualization site "Digg Swarm" @ labs.digg.com/swarm.
This week, I'm using buzz.originalsignal.com, doggdot.us, techmeme.com, technorati.com as the source to get my daily dose of news, hype, and tech.
Still too geeky in my opinion to gain widespread adoption by the masses.
I agree with Jeff Nolan. I keep up with the newest "it" sites, the newest blogs, aggregators, etc...but I believe that these sites often see tremendous growth in uniques and overall usership because of the cool factor. No one denies how cool some of the web 2.0/social networking/social news delivery sites and feeds can be, but do they ultimately really save us time or effort? We all know that palm devices and pocket pcs are cool, and COULD save us time and effort, but think of how many people actually use these devices versus the often simpler blackberry.
Google news/alerts serves me well and isn't a socially-driven fad.
Digg fading out? i feel like one of the determinants of sites relevancy today has a lot to do with the site's growth into its core competency market. Digg is gaining hundreds of thousands of users every month. You can't declare any anti-digg trend because you found a few articles here and there that are critical of the front-page content. Digg serves a pretty specific audience as well: 18-55 year old teche-nerd males. Why else would any story about apple hit the front page? Digg has some of the most dedicated users, comparable to those people on wikipedia who are sticklers for perfection, except there about 100 times as many on digg, and growing. If anything, CNN is becoming irellevant, as it picks up stories after digg does, and has a narrower scope. Digg gets everything.
I think Buzzfeed will out place Digg very soon. That is a smart move. There is already a cracked wall with the Digg, especially with another $8.5 million round B financing. Digg seems to be digging itself into trouble.
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