Digg and Techmeme are two of my favorite websites – visited routinely throughout the day.
They satisfy similar needs but do so in completely different ways. Techmeme is an efficient way to scan what’s important on the web (important being the key word) and cluster topics with other relevant sources / bloggers. Digg is an effective way to digest what’s unique and interesting on the web (not always important). Both Techmeme and Digg change throughout the day and give me a reason to press the refresh button…
There’s another important use-case for Digg: as a content publisher, it is an effective medium to drive traffic.
But rumblings across the web are that Digg changed their algorithm today – making it harder to reach popularity and harder for the non-power-users to find success. Two Diggs One Cup, 200 Diggs 1 Voice, and Valleywag are reporting that Digg has now instituted a 200 vote barrier to reach popularity.
The Digg story has nearly 300 comments – and the vast majority are angry. My thoughts are simple: I use Digg as both a consumer and publisher of content precisely because it is a level-playing field. If Digg institutes new algorithmic changes that drastically alter that balance, they’d likely lose the variety of headlines that make the site endearing and, instead, showcase topics near-and-dear to the power-users (ie all things Ron Paul or Apple).
Consequently, Digg could look a lot like an editorialized version of Techmeme…. And I like Techmeme enough that I don’t need to replace it!
Update: Techcrunch has posted a review of the Digg changes with hints that new accounts are over-valued in the new algorithm.