The seven major problems with the new Digg

News aggregator Digg relaunched last week with a new ad-free design that puts more emphasis on big images to lure in readers.

It is a big step away from its previous design that displayed all links in the same way, and now looks more akin to a curated news site, as opposed to an aggregator.

The way stories reach the homepage has also been changed – it no longer relies on diggs from regular users and instead takes into account shares on Facebook and Twitter as well as employing editors to curate the content.

For old users or those familiar with the previous site the new version is almost unrecognisable, so it seems Digg’s new owners have realised that the old way didn’t work and are pitching for a whole new audience.

But in the short term most of its traffic is going to be from previous users who want to see how the new site works. 

Five lessons learned from Digg’s rise and fall

Social news site Digg was once one of the most popular services on the internet. An early social media darling, Digg and its founder, Kevin Rose, were the subject of numerous high-profile articles, including an embarrassing (and not-entirely-accurate) BusinessWeek cover piece with the headline How This Kid Made $60 Million In 18 Months.

It wasn’t just the media lavishing attention on Digg: investors poured big money — some $45m in total — into the company. 

But what goes up often comes down and as it turned out for Digg, the company’s future was not going to be nearly as bright as its early years. Yesterday, the company’s assets, including the code for the Digg site itself and its domain, were sold to New York-based development firm Betaworks for a reported $500,000.

Can this man save Google’s social strategy?

How important is social to Google’s future?

It depends on who you ask. Some believe that if Google doesn’t find a way to compete in the space, Facebook might eventually eat its lunch.

Those who are a tad more skeptical suggest that Google and its advertising money machine don’t need social to thrive.

Time will tell which camp is right, but Google has already decided. With the launch of Google+ and Search, plus Your World, it’s clear that the search giant is committed to giving its all in an effort to become a meaningful player in the social market.

StumbleUpon brings the iFrame back

You thought they were gone. Those pesky, annoying, experience-destroying things. Yes, I’m talking about iFrames.

Popular a decade ago, they’ve made a few appearances in the past several years. The once-popular Digg, for instance, turned to them to implement its DiggBar.

But now they’re back.

Digg’s demise: are VCs and founder cash-outs partly to blame?

Digg is dead. Sure, the company won’t be disappearing today,
tomorrow or next week, but to anyone who lived through the first .com
bust, the writing is on the wall: the company’s redesign woes and
yesterday’s 37% staff reduction don’t bode well for its future prospects.

For Digg to survive and thrive once again, it’s going to have to beat the kind of odds that few companies do.

What do Social Media Managers do? Part 2

Following on from my previous post, it’s time to throw myself to the
wolves and tell you exactly what it is I’m doing all day. Hopefully by
outlining my regular daily routine you’ll begin to see how various
platforms can be used by your social media staff to enhance your
customer’s experience and generate revenue.

Where relevant I’ll try to
post exact figures and ROI, and detail some of the new ideas that have
come from our social outreach recently…

Building a great social media strategy

When I’m writing about social media, I always try to hammer home the
importance of transparency: Clear and open communication with clients by
members of staff at all levels.

Unfortunately there are times when this
isn’t appropriate. There are hierarchies of information and
responsibility in any company, which means social media expansion often
requires a clear policy so that anyone with access to social media
(which means everyone) stays on message and doesn’t accidentally destroy
a lovingly crafted campaign with an ill-advised tweet.

In order to roll
out a social program across an entire company, you need to train and
educate across your organization, and a properly honed policy is a good
way to begin. 

Here area few quick points to consider when putting
together a general use policy that will help you ensure maximum
engagement and minimum risk.

Digg’s painful lesson: take the money and run while you can

At one point in the no-so-distant past, Digg was one of the hottest
startups on the internet. The Web 2.0 boom was in full swing, and Digg
and its founder Kevin Rose were the poster children for the next
generation of companies that would ride the wave to fame and fortune.

Digg, of course, rose to popularity by providing a platform that
democratized the news. Why rely on editors to determine what’s
important and what’s not?Let the wisdom of the crowd works its magic.
It was a simple idea, but a powerful one.

Is ‘mafia sourcing’ really a bad thing?

Social media and Web 2.0 (a term that, incidentally, we don’t hear much of anymore) were supposed to make the internet a more democratic place. On today’s internet, just about everybody has a printing press, and the little guy has equal opportunity to distribute a message. The best, we’re often told, will rise to the top.

Of course, anyone who is involved with user-generated content and the popular web services through which user-generated content is shared and promoted, eventually learns that the internet isn’t as democratic as it’s supposed to be.

Why social media needs to learn the marketing basics

social-media-schoolGiven that it pays my wages, I’m not supposed to let you know that
social media isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for marketers everywhere, but
try as I might I still can’t quite come up with enough reasons to ditch
your other streams and hand your marketing keys over to Zuckerberg just

While it can’t be all things to all people, there’s no denying
that social media is still experiencing impressive growth and has great
potential for innovation and engagement. Yet traditional media is still
huge and it’s concerning that some of the hype surrounding social media
could eventually be doing more harm than good for businesses.  

One of the major problems is a lack of understanding.

Is Digg digging itself into a hole with its new design?

Digg may have been a Web 2.0 pioneer, but out of all the mature startups loosely grouped into the ‘social media’ category, it’s one of the companies some might argue is well past its prime. While other upstarts born around mid-decade, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to rise, Digg seems to be treading water.

That, of course, is not to say that Digg isn’t very popular. It is. And that’s not to say that it can’t do wonderful things for publishers who hit the front page. It can.

But for both consumers and publishers alike, the Facebook and Twitters of the world have largely become more important when it comes to sharing and discovering interesting content on the web.

Don’t believe the hype: three ways social media figures lie

lie detector iphoneAs more companies introduce social media campaigns, there’s often
a real lack of understanding when deciding which numbers really matter,  so the default action is often to watch everything.

On the one hand,
keeping track of every tweet, post and comment is good practice. However, when it
comes to actually interpreting the piles of data, meaningful analysis is sometimes sorely absent.

Ideally you should be able to
interpret the figures so that you can both hone your KPIs and make ongoing
strategic decisions. By analysing figures in meaningful ways
you’ll receive deeper, more useful insights.

consider a few ways you can sort figurative fact from fiction: