AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Digg Gets Buried

Posted by rubenmarinbach on July 16, 2012

Earlier today, it was announced that Digg was purchased last week for $500,000. That’s $500,000, in other words 1/ 2,000th or .0005% the price that Instagram was purchased for earlier in the year. As we know from reading Groundswell, it wasn’t that long ago that Digg was a leading force in online social communication and readership empowerment. But like so many other outlets in this rapid-fire service industry, they eventually lost some steam and what they had to offer dwarfed in comparison to what some other sites had to offer.

But is the seemingly lackluster news of Digg’s modestly priced sale bad news for the website? I actually think it’s a good thing. Digg was dead in the water. They weren’t going anywhere but downward. But Digg still has the valuable asset of reputation and integrity that so many companies never are able to grasp. This sale wipes their slate, muddled by poor business decisions and a failure to adapt, pretty much clean. It gives them an opportunity as CEO Matt Williams says, to “get back to their roots”, and return to the grassroots style that originally made them so beloved.

It also helps the industry. If Digg gets swallowed up and never returns to the social media mix, maybe that’s a good thing for the big picture. Think of the web of social media like a garden shrub. Sometimes a little bit of routine maintenance, such as shedding the dead endings in order to simplify and “clean” the environment, its necessary for future growth. The Washington Post has already hired most of Digg’s development team. Reddit now steps in as the undisputed #1 source for community-shared news. Worst-case scenario for Digg, their sale serves as a sacrificial lamb for the common good of the internet. And if they’re not okay with that, at least I am.


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