I got buried on Digg

My latest article at last100 was published today, titled: Windows Media Center – a Microsoft success story? If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you probably know that I’m a bit of a Microsoft fan. I think they’re a great company, and I like their products (for the most part). Sure they do some stupid things from time to time, but name a big company that doesn’t!

Anyway, back to the post. I’ve written a few Microsoft-related posts for last100 in the last month or so, and I don’t think I’ve said anything terribly negative in any of them. A few of the posts became really popular on Digg, and the feedback was mostly good. I was kind of surprised, to be honest. Communities like Digg, by their very nature, don’t like big companies. Or perhaps more accurately, the community members don’t. Well, I finally got buried on Digg. My latest article made the front page, then quickly disappeared. I guess I had it coming!

Essentially my post demonstrates that Windows Media Center has become very successful. I don’t really attempt to explain the reasons for the success, aside from glossing over the features and that sort of thing. It seems most people think that WMC is only successful because it is installed by default on many new computers. Even if that’s the case, does it matter? I don’t think it does.

Forget about how it happened – the simple fact of the matter is that there are more than 50 million computers out there with really great media center functionality. Even if the majority of users don’t use that functionality today, that doesn’t mean they won’t tomorrow. There’s something to be said about saturation. Not enough people know about media center features. And maybe they shouldn’t have to. If everyone had media center PCs, they could just start using the functionality without thinking about it.

Oh well, getting buried was bound to happen sooner or later. I wonder if they make a t-shirt for this!

Read: last100

Will Digg's implosion change the world?

Post ImageWow, just wow. Digg has imploded. This might seem comical at the moment, but I think May 1st, 2007 may go down in Internet history as a very critical day. Ryan Block has the best recap of what has transpired that I’ve seen:

Brace yourself: there is a revolt underway at Digg. Users are virulently spreading the HD DVD AACS decryption key against Digg’s wishes, with each removed post spawning dozens more in its place. But how did such a loyal userbase as Digg’s so quickly divert its all-consuming energy to defying — even damaging — the company to which it was so loyal?

The rest of his post explains the timeline. Basically it’s like this:

  • Someone posted the HD-DVD decryption key on Digg.
  • The story was removed, and that user was banned.
  • The story was reposted, and removed again.
  • Digg users then flooded the site with stories about the key.

As Ryan says, the web has just witnessed its first “massive, simultaneous revolt.”

When I started writing this post a few minutes ago, digg.com was down. Looks like it is back up now, but for how long? Digg’s founder Kevin Rose had this to say earlier tonight:

We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

If there was ever a reason to start realizing the power of the web, this is it. Who cares what happens to Digg…what does this event mean for the web and society in general? I’m not sure how yet, but I think Digg’s implosion might just have changed the world.

Read: Ryan Block

Thoughts on Digg Podcasting

Post ImageOver at Geek News Central today Todd Cochrane had some harsh words for Digg’s newest feature, their podcast portal. Most of his argument is based on the traffic he apparently isn’t receiving from Digg:

Lately though I have come to the conclusion that for all the traffic Digg gets very little if any of that traffic in the way of downloads or pure referals [sic] comes from that site.

He goes on to offer some advice to podcasters:

My advice to podcasters is this, look at the directories you are listed in and figure out if they are doing anything to build your audience or giving you equal exposure on the front of their respective websites. If they are not find sites that are and support them in your shows.

That plan of attack might have worked when podcasting was just getting started, but we’re beyond that now. I would suggest that podcasters do in fact add themselves into Digg’s directory, flawed as it might be. Why pick one directory over another? The idea isn’t to play favorites, it’s to help the audience find what they want, wherever they might be looking. There’s more to being in a directory than just getting listed on the front page.

As for Digg’s podcast portal, here are my thoughts:

  • The way you add a podcast into the directory sucks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and the feedback you get is really unhelpful.
  • Only iTunes-compatible feeds may be added into the directory. Why Digg felt the need to perpetuate Apple’s hegemony is beyond me.
  • It would be better if episodes had a “front page” as well, instead of just podcasts. Right now you can only look at episodes for a particular podcast.

The podcast section of Digg hasn’t been around very long, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be making changes over time. There’s definitely room for improvement, but the directory is not useless.

Read: Geek News Central

Yahoo buying Digg?

Post ImageYahoo keeps going further and further down the acquisition path lately – or at least generating rumors that they are. The newest rumor is that they are set to purchase Digg.com for nearly $30 million. Since the rumor first appeared there have been a number of updates that dispute such an acquisition, but it’s interesting to consider nonetheless. From Kevin Burton’s Feed Blog:

Update 2: The Digg blog officially denies the acquisition. Jeremy was smart enough to have “no comment“… Next time there’s a Digg acquisition rumor you’ll know you’re on to something 🙂

I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be true. Digg would be an excellent addition to the growing stable of apps under the Yahoo umbrella, including del.icio.us and Flickr among others. The other factor to consider in this rumor, which Kevin does a good job of pointing out, is that Digg has insane amounts of traffic, and is going to need either more investment or a suitor with lots of resources to keep pace.

Read: Kevin Burton