The overwhelming popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare have overshadowed user-rated news aggregators and social bookmarking sites liked Reddit and Digg. As a result it has forced them back to the drawing board in an effort to revitalize and inspire users.
A New Version of Digg
Recently, Digg launched a new version, currently in restricted beta, that offers users the ability to "follow" people or publishers through a feature called "My News.” Perhaps most significant is that the new version of Digg presents an opportunity for publishers to submit their content automatically.
The new version of Digg adds the ability to "follow" people or publishers via a feature called "My News," which will become the default Digg home page.
Such new functionality could upset the balance of power created by Digg’s power users, who for the past few years have decided which content and publishers got pushed to the top. Now that publishers can also contribute, power users may not wield as much influence.
Upsetting the Balance
If the new version of Digg pits power users against publishers, does it change the dynamic of community-based news aggregation? However, by being able to follow users, power users can leverage their influence in new ways.
By finding news ways to digg content, the new version might breathe new life into the old platform by attracting users unfamiliar with the old regime in exchange for more established users who may flee elsewhere in search of more exploitative platforms.
The Social Web Reinvents Itself
Regardless of what the future of Digg holds for its power users, it’s important to note that even the mainstays of the social web are subject to evolutionary standards. Because of the web’s rapidly changing landscape and our chronic need for real time information, even the social web has trouble keeping up with itself.
Yet we should be comforted that even a relatively young industry such as social media is constantly taking inventory of its usefulness, learning from the mistakes of the news industry before it, who waited too long to make changes.