Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Guy Who Copied Digg Slams Digg For Copying Twitter (techcrunch.com)
12 points by jordanmessina 2754 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

Actually Reddit didn't copy Digg. It copied del.icio.us/popular. This will be clear if you look at screenshots of the two sites in summer 2005. Reddit was del.icio.us/popular with votes instead of bookmarks, in the same way that Digg was Slashdot with votes instead of human editors.

The differences between Reddit's and Digg's origins are visible even today. When a story gets enough votes on Digg it becomes the new top story, as on Slashdot. Whereas on Reddit stories bubble up from the bottom then sink back down again. This is a significant difference because it makes Reddit harder to game.

Originally the Reddits thought they'd have to motivate people to upvote stories by using the votes to train a filter. But it turned out users were willing to vote out of a form of altruism, so the idea of training a filter died out after a couple months.

As for the names, what they originally wanted to call Reddit was Snoo, as in "what's new?" But the name was owned by a squatter who wouldn't sell, so as a temporary expedient Alexis chose Reddit, which Steve and I both hated initially. (They had to settle for calling the Reddit alien Snoo.)

The Reddits learned of the existence of Digg a week or two after launching. They were pretty bummed. We still use their story as one of the canonical examples to encourage new YC funded startups to launch quickly.

If Michael wasn't sure whether Reddit copied Digg, he could have just asked me. But saturdays are slow days for traffic, especially on Memorial Day weekend. Arguably he genuinely thinks he's giving Alexis a gift of pageviews, which to an online publication must seem valuable almost regardless of context.

Thanks, PG. In fact, I was talking about delicious -> reddit as recently as my public interview with Jessica on Thursday.

I, unfortunately, care more about reputation than pageviews. My reply has been well-received, but I'd love for Michael to revise his headline to just insult me (which he's entitled to do) instead of make stuff up. I even have the email I sent Steve alerting him to digg (dated 7/11/05 - we launched 6/23/05).


The rest of the evidence to support what PG has said in the above comment can be found here, in screenshots from reddit since day 0.


I hope everyone has a splendid memorial day weekend. Surely the Internet has more important & interesting things to be discussing.

Hey PG. Just wanted to let you know that the name of the alien was a secret... until 2 days ago. :)

Can we keep this sensationalist tripe out? (That's rhetorical.)

Having read Alexis' letter I'd hardly call it "slamming," and undeserving of this melodramatic bullshit.

They won't stop because it gets them clicks. People won't stop submitting because it gets them karma. It will never end.

"One of the founders of Reddit, a Digg-clone"

Harsh. Digg might have done it first by a short margin but while digg fights just to remain relevant reddit and its community are doing massive actual good for the world - Haiti, Kiva, etc.

I liked your comment better when it called TechCrunch a tabloid clone.

Yeah I was going to roll with that then a readwriteweb clone since they beat techcrunch by years, thought it was a bit petty though.

Well at least you decided to take the high road.

The reddit founder letter was basically OK and interesting, but the Techcrunch critique sort-of irritated me.

Too bad: I really enjoyed the Techcrunch web site last week because my customer CompassLabs was presenting at Techcrunch and it was a lot of fun following along remotely. I don't understand the negativity of the linked article though.

The more positive energy and kindness you give, generally the more good stuff comes back your way. Such a simple principle and it is strange that some people just don't get it.

I mean, what Alexis said was pretty silly for sure. And this does make some reasonable points r.e. that.

But why the vitriol? Smacks of trolling to me...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact