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Facebook Didn't Kill Digg, Reddit Did (forbes.com)
187 points by boh on July 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 118 comments



And that happened, IMHO, because the people behind reddit didn't behave like jerks and the people behind Digg did.

One example of being jerks: http://blog.jgc.org/2006/07/sense-of-humor-failure-at-digg.h...

After that I was unbanned, but not after an employee of Digg defamed me in a blog post by making false claims: http://blog.jgc.org/2006/07/unbanned-from-digg.html

And here's an example of how reddit people weren't jerks when I inadvertently brought the site great slowness: http://blog.jgc.org/2010/09/tale-of-two-cultures.html


Reddit never seemed to have to bother trying to make any profit. They still haven't.

Digg wanted to make money.

If Conde hadn't bought Reddit, then it would likely have been a far closer race.

When your competition isn't interested in making money, you're always going to be at a major disadvantage.


Reddit's burn rate was probably 2% of Digg's. That allowed them to not be as focused on short-term profit.


I'm not so sure. Digg was pretty much already dead when that deal went through.


Not how I remember it at all. At that time Digg was quite a bit larger than Reddit. Then later Digg decided to really push the revenue generation, and users fled to the obvious free alternative.


2006 - You're totally right. My mistake.


It's always tragic when the profit motive gets in the way of making good products that people want to use. Like in the case of Apple and the way it has made it impossible for them to make great products. Oh wait.


None of these things killed Digg. Digg was simply a transitional meme.

Prior to the Internet you had mass media controlling distribution. The Internet comes along and you have things like Usenet and the proto-Web.

Then comes the first crowdsourcing sites to allow people to find content without employing people to curate that information. Slashdot was certainly early in this trend.

What Digg allowed is a certain band of people to control the information flow. People would get paid to promote submissions as it became clear that a front-page submission generated a lot of pageviews.

But what became apparent with all these community sites (and this includes forums) is they start with an early group who provide value to each other. This group ends up becoming insular. De facto standards form. But even in the Usenet days you had the "September" problem (where new college freshmen would get Internet access and not understand the "rules" and conventions that were in place and would ask questions that had already been answered, etc).

Basically all these social sites get worse over time as the masses flood in.

Digg died because the idea that there is a central source for news was a holdover idea from the old media days. Reddit understood this. Global reddit is basically useless. The subreddits are the only remotely interesting thing about reddit.

People complain about how HN is getting worse. That's probably true and it is true (and will continue to be true) of any such social site in the future.

I've heard the same complaints about Twitter.

Facebook for most people is not a source of news. It doesn't have the same link-sharing mindshare (IMHO) for most people that other mediums have. Ultimately I think the biggest use case for Facebook is still sharing photos. People go to Facebook to find out what their friends are doing. Very few go to find out what's going on in the world (much as Facebook would like that to be the case).

I'm surprised at how some wax lyrical on how amazing reddit is. It's just a minor tweak on a long trend of existing prior art (the subreddits). Personally I think it's a cesspool full of trolls. Proggit (programming.reddit.com) is (IMHO) just awful.


> Proggit (programming.reddit.com) is (IMHO) just awful.

So I went over there, and the first article is about protocol-less links, and the first comment notes that they have performance issues in css for IE7 & 8. The second article is a link to dadgum and the first comment is about optimizing network communication.

It's not HN, but awful is an overstatement.


It seems like proggit is dying. I've been subbed to it for a few years and there used to be a lot more submissions. I don't have data to back it up and hopefully I am wrong but if I am not I imagine us programmers prefer to go to sources totally dedicated for programming instead of a mixed bag. It would make sense for proggit to be dying out though because Reddit used to be primarily for tech and has of course now shifted out of tech and into everything.


I stopped following proggit months ago for the simple reason that there's too much not-about-programming posts. Too much of the content was "announcing my iphone app!", "omg industry gossip!" and stackoverflow repost variety. And I was sick of it.

I tried for about 2 months to politely explain to posters why their posts didn't fit the guidelines and then I quit and gave up. Why fight an inevitability?


> t's not HN, but awful is an overstatement.

Agreed. In many ways I find Reddit to be much better and more enjoyable. First, it provides a better UX, especially for posting and revising comments. Second, there is much less pedantry there than on HN ("Well technically... Well technically... Exception in this exceptional case! No it's not. Yes it is! Exotic edge case under theoretical conditions I read about in a book that one time!" etc.). Third, there are less haters. Fourth, there are lots of funny and creative writers there, again, unlike here on HN. There are definitely positives about HN, and both HN and Reddit share some of the same weaknesses (a unimind or Thought Police effect: if you post a view that strays too far from the median you will get downvotes that penalizes your karma, even if your post was thoughtful, well-written, constructive, polite, etc.)


I think the value of a site declines over time relative to how long an individual has been viewing it. The first few weeks I started browsing Hacker News, a large portion of the articles were interesting.

The percentage of interesting articles has declined over time. Is that because I have overdosed a bit on the types of articles and discussions that appear here? Or simply because I have consumed more internet based news now than I had when I started reading HN? Who is to say.

Yes, sites in general can and have declined. However, due to the fact that I have not seen trolls dominate HN, and in my view the quality of HN is approximately as good as it has always been, I find it difficult to measure the quality of the site to a precision that would allow me to track it over time. In my own head.

The short answer is, this site is still among the best discussion news sites on the internet.


I am not a programmer, just a normal computer user with above average knowledge compared to the bog standard users. I love this site because i learn something new every single day. Same with Hackaday. I find reading articles on things you know absolutely nothing about, makes them that much interesting. For instance, i love glossing over C or ASM code, but i couldn't understand it if it depended on my life; i know nothing about programming (i can make basic applications with Visual Basic, which is looked down upon on every forum i've read).


I'm pretty much in the same boat. I hang out here so much because a) a lot of the content shared is interesting to anyone with an interest in technology, computers, or lately the world in general (seems like HN has been growing more broad), and b) With the rare exception, the discussion here is interesting and executed with respect. At times the conversations are more interesting than the articles. People here often cite sources, they highlight points they liked about a post before they disagree. I had a philosophy teacher who often would randomly just throw out into the class "Intelligent people disagree! It's ok!" I feel like that is supported here, a majority of the time.


The way people here go about disagreeing with one another is perhaps my favorite part of hacker news.


I think that's a very good point. It's similar to how when you start learning something new, you'll make a lot of progress easily and everything will seem fresh and original. After a while, you've discovered most of the big ideas in the field and have see a lot of what is on offer, so things start to seem worse and less original.

A good way to test this hypothesis would be to check with people who are new to the scene and new to Hacker News. Do they react to the content similarly to how old members initially reacted?


I agree with most of your post, but would clarify:

>> People complain about how HN is getting worse. That's probably true and it is true (and will continue to be true) of any such social site in the future.

Two things:

1. "Worse" is subjective.

2. I think it's more of a trade-off between quality and size. Hacker News doesn't have to get "worse", but would have to remain niche in order to avoid it. That is why subreddits can succeed, because Reddit is essentially a platform for lots of niche communities.


If by "niche" you mean high quality, in depth content that takes effort to digest, as opposed to brain candy that makes you feel like you're in a special club when you're not, and that you're thinking when you're not, then I would very much prefer the "niche".


>I'm surprised at how some wax lyrical on how amazing reddit is. It's just a minor tweak on a long trend of existing prior art (the subreddits). Personally I think it's a cesspool full of trolls. Proggit (programming.reddit.com) is (IMHO) just awful.

Reddit is the easiest way I know of to generate a targeted community. I've set up subreddits, forgot about them, and come back to find them with thousands of members and fresh content. Are there other comparable ways to do this?


Starting a wiki? I know that wikis spring up for recently released video games pretty frequently, although I'm not sure if anything like that happens for non-video game content.


Reddit as a whole brings immense value in the sheer volume of unusual content. The AMA section varies from banal to fascinating, for example — and the strength of the interesting content far outweighs the easy-to-skip bad.

The quality of individual subreddits varies wildly, of course. This should not be a surprise. In a way, Reddit's subreddits feature brought back the spirit of Usenet.



>Basically all these social sites get worse over time as the masses flood in.

They only get worse for people who don't like mainstream content.


Mainstream is lowest common denominator aka crap.


"Mainstream" is often content that is polished enough, well done enough, and original enough that it can stand on its own without referring to fringe cultural appeal. "Alternative" content often relies on the fact that its fans like its particular style of "alternativeness" to compensate for the fact that its execution is lacking.


The value in Digg was the tribe it created, not the software, not the ads, not the human beings keeping the lights on. It was the tribe of people who found interesting news on the internet and shared it.

FB, Reddit, HN did not "kill" Digg. The tribe growing up and or moving on to other things ended Digg. A similar tribe is at Reddit now, but a similar tribe used to live at Slashdot. Before that they probably lived on Usenet message boards or wherever.

In college, the comp sci program I was in had a private message board that ended up having a very similar vibe to digg/reddit/slashdot. Tech heavy, at times very heated political and religious debate. Eventually the original group graduated and it's never been quite the same.

It seems that each generation has something like digg, slashdot, reddit, whatever... that is "the thing" for hanging out and sharing/complaining about the news of the day or whatever is interesting. They might look like fads because on the internet they peak and crumble pretty quick, but really it is probably a natural cycle that communities and tribes go through.

Eventually HN and Reddit will become irrelevant to certain groups and the tribes that live there will move on to the next thing, whatever that might be.

I'm guessing the next site like this already exists or is going to be built soon, so any guesses as to what it will be if it's already out there?


From my perspective, Reddit is qualitatively different from all the sites you mentioned. Reddit is the first large news site which allows its users to create their own communities.

Most of the content on Reddit these days isn't technology- or politically oriented at all. This has changed over the last year or so - there are subreddits for pretty much anything. What makes these communities special is that a lot of them have very specialized and very diverse knowledge, not necessarily related to the subjects Reddit's early adopters were interested in. There are subreddits for science, fitness, finance, sex, art and just about any other subject people would be interested in following. What gets to the default front page doesn't even begin scratching the surface of what the ecosystem has to offer.

I have the contrarian opinion that Reddit won't be displaced for a long time in the realm of primarily text-based news sharing and discussion.


Reading your comment, I think reddit is like a moderated usenet.

I think the only thing that would really kill reddit is if the people in charge try too hard to monetize it, like Digg did.


The more popular a community gets the more diluted its culture becomes. The communities become overrun with users who never have a chance to acclimate to the culture of the site because they see more new users like themselves than they do seasoned users. You see this effect taking hold on HN when you go to a thread and see a bunch of short joke comments and none of them are light gray. Eventually the core users leave for greener pastures or for a place that resembles why they joined the previous site to begin with. Every community is doomed to this fate if it continues to gain unchecked popularity. All things will eventually converge on pictures of cats.

When aging HN users get tired of the changing atmosphere they will splinter off.

What I'd like to see come next: A community for hacker+entrepreneur types with an HN-like policy on commenting and etiquette that doesn't pander to Silicon Valley and doesn't need to stay on the good side of tech rags. Bootstrapping, programming, running a company -- that's it. Nothing so vague as "gratifying one's intellectual curiosity."


That is where reddit shines... they can splinter off to subreddits.


Nobody killed Digg. Digg committed suicide by telling it's original, loyal user base to go fuck themselves in it's quest for more money and a broader audience. Digg became too greedy.

But it was pretty obvious much earlier on that Digg had zero respect for its users. In many ways, Digg had a very old school broadcast attitude: the users were merely part of the product, only the advertisers mattered.


The problem digg faced is that their loyal customers were not sufficient to warrant the amount of money they had raised. If they had done nothing, it would have been suicide as well.


The problem they faced, then, was in deluding themselves about their valuation, and raising more capital (and incurring greater obligations) than they could meet.

Digg were apparently sustainable at their prior valuation, and with their existing userbase.

Icarus problem.


They sold their investors the idea that they could monetize their users at a higher level than their previous advertising model permitted. That meant that they had to come up with a new model and that new model pissed off the users and ultimately killed the egg laying goose.

This is the same problem Facebook is facing having promised investors astronomical per-user revenue. They continue pissing off their users and if they aren't careful the next ad-based redesign could be the turning point.


by this logic nearly all startups are delusional. I don't think I'd frame it this way.


Not quite.

Digg was viable previously. Hence the Icarus problem. They tried to fly too high.

Most startups are stillborn. That's a different Greek myth.


yeah, but I think they believed they could grow into something bigger. I.e, the same thing all startups believe, and typically fail to do.

Don't get me wrong, I think they'd have been far better off taking far less money and simply being a profitable property. I think nearly all startups would be better off doing this. I just don't believe that digg did anything abnormal for a typical startup.


Here's the blog post TechCrunch flamed me about (called me a liar and whatnot). I wrote it after I tried the alpha of diggv4, but before it was released to the public; I have no idea what happened internally, but the resulting product was indeed pretty devastating -- the final self-inflicted wound after years of encouraging power users and sacrificing the best interests of the userbase: http://alexisohanian.com/an-open-letter-to-kevin-rose


Actually Digg killed Digg with the redesign. One time after the redesign I went to the site and there was NO CONTENT anywhere. It wanted me to make friends with people before I would get to see any content.

I logged in. Still no content. That was the last time I visited digg.com, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

My guess is that if the acquirers just rever to the pre-redesign version Digg will come back to life.


Reddit Didn't Kill Digg, Digg Did

I read a bit of the discussion on Reddit, and there were surprisingly (to me) many people that had used Digg before. Then something called "v4" came and Digg became unusable to many people. As I understood the discussion. Digg didn't care. So its users looked for alternatives and moved to Reddit. Digg still didn't care. People got used to Reddit and stayed. Digg still didn't care.

Yesterday I looked at Digg.com for the first time in years. Only a quick look and I spotted already a number of beginners mistakes only in the front page design.

For example the clickable headlines to the stories: they are the main content. Yet they are very /very/ light and hard to read on the white background. WTF. You want your main content to have /good contrast/ and stand out, and secondary stuff (like "points" or "who submitted" or "vote buttons") to have less contrasts as to not distract from your main content. Yet, even such basic things Digg gets wrong. I didn't dare to digg further.


The tipping point, IMHO, was when Digg banned people from typing the following number: "09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0."

As soon as that happened, Digg lost the alpha nerds. The rest was destiny played out over time.


I was struck by the authors comment "Well, they haven’t redesigned since what appears to be 1997, which has pleased their user base who like the simple look."

How long before web designers start complaining about reddit the way they complain about craigslist's design?


The complaints will happen when that simplicity impedes information flow. It's not a matter of visual aesthetics, it's a matter of usefulness. CL's design impedes its usability, independent of its aesthetics.

In Craigslist case, there are clearly better ways to browse housing spots than in a list of links with non-standardized location information in the linktext. In Reddit and HN, part of the joy is serendipity...you don't need to aggregate the content behind each link at once...because of the voting system, you don't worry that clicking on the top link will be a waste of time. That's not the case with CL's chronologically ordered list.

Reddit has made some concessions with allowing thumbnails of image-based posts to show up. Otherwise, its minimalistic approach serves a real usability purpose and is not simply the result of stagnation.


Uh... picture subreddits are 75% of reddit's frontpage traffic and my little startup thinks that there are better ways of browsing pictures than a long list of thumbnails where the title is even larger than the thumbnail preview.


So, you'll be competing with Pinterest?


No. Pinterest is more tuned towards sharing pictures with people that you already know.

Picc.it is tuned to sharing pictures with people you don't know, but share your interests.

Think of it as the difference between glomping onto a pre-existing community (e.g. Facebook friends), and creating a new one (e.g. Reddit).


You can criticise the design of Reddit a lot, but you can't criticise the UI. It works brilliantly.


I guess designers could criticize its visual aesthetic, which is pretty austere, but design is how it works in addition to how it looks. I'd say reddit's devs have shown an interest in improving their interface and making it easier to use over time, whereas craigslist has not. You still can't browse apartment listings on a map, which is the reason why the Padmapper thing blew up so big.


IMHO, Digg killed Digg.

In any such ecosystem where the inmates are running the asylum, pissing them off is not a good course of action.

The tribe knew that it was the reason why Digg was what Digg was. But arrogance on the part of the upper management at Digg was its downfall; they couldn't come to terms with the basic fact that the people were responsible for Digg's success. So they decided to tweak it, "enhance" it, modify it to "Digg 2.0", and the people revolted.

Lesson: if you are a user-driven site, listen to them. Don't piss them off.


As an ex-Digger, I can tell you that it was Digg that killed Digg for me. At one point in time, Digg was cool. Granted, it was still mostly a rehash of news from Reddit, 4Chan and other sites, but the audience base was large enough to provide original content as well, and the UI was considerably better than any of the other sites.

What killed it (for me anyway) was that Digg suddenly allowed advertisers to start posting away. Ads popped up everywhere, and every other post from directly from Mashable. Digg was no longer cool, and mostly, it was Mashable's alternative site. :)

I switched to Reddit. Reddit didn't like all the Digg users migrating over initially, but attitudes have cooled over time. I can't really see a move that Digg could make at this point that would entice me back.


My take - Digg killed itself. Kevin Rose either sold out to advertisers or had a tin ear for his site's community.


I used to be a huge Digg fan, and checked it religiously. Digg v4 is what completely drove me away.

The Digg v4 idea was good, but poorly executed. They shouldn't have suddenly forced you to follow other people to get your news. They were trying too hard to become a social network like Twitter / Facebook. Instead, I think they should have integrated with Twitter / Facebook to find top news, rather than starting their own social network.


I am surprised no one has liked to ncomment's rendition of the how the digg vs reddit war went down.

Part 1: http://ncomment.com/blog/2009/04/08/war-13/

Part 2: http://ncomment.com/blog/2009/12/17/war-23/

Part 3: http://ncomment.com/blog/2012/01/06/war-33/


Personally, I feel Digg killed Digg. They were their own worst enemy and drove people to alternatives.


No, sorry, as someone that used Digg regularly on a daily basis, Digg killed Digg.

The day that Digg changed their interface was the day they lost a huge portion of their users, including me. I went back once more after that, and then never again.


In my opinion (and I was there), the never ending side projects killed Digg. Revision3 (especially), Pownce, Wefollow, etc, etc.


I left Digg for Reddit because Reddit's community at the time valued articles with content over images. As Reddit has absorbed Digg's old user base, so too did it absorb much of the culture of Digg. Reddit no longer seems to have much focus on reading and has instead become a place to find funny images, much like Digg in its heyday. It feels inevitable that the culture of a website like Reddit will change over its life span but it bothered me to see it happen first-hand.


But with Reddit, there are thousands of others who agree with you, who have created tons of subreddits that would be relevant to whatever your interests. Obviously some communities are more active and more interesting than others, but they're around if you look. Here are some great article-based reddits:

http://www.reddit.com/r/indepthstories/

http://www.reddit.com/r/literature/

http://www.reddit.com/r/longtext/

http://www.reddit.com/r/offbeat/

http://www.reddit.com/r/TrueReddit/



I would place almost all of the blame of Digg dying on Digg itself.


DIGG killed Digg. The week after V 3.0 launched was a mess. Tons of corporate sponsored posts (AKA intrusive adverts), often multiple submissions by the same person on the front page at the same time, and other weirdness.

Reddit was right place, right time to pick up the exodus. I don't think it did anything to kill Digg.


I was just thinking about this yesterday when I read the Digg article. I used to read Digg all the time, until it got to the point where the comments in each Digg submitted article stated how that article/news story was on reddit first. This is when I found out about reddit... haha


Facebook, Twitter, Reddit didn't kill Digg. Digg killed Digg.

Kevin got caught in a situation where he had to please investors and they were looking at what other people were doing and he stop innovating and started copying.

That's what killed Digg. Nothing else.


One thing I never understood about Digg is why at one point they had around 300 employees and an incredible burn rate- only do less successfully and less efficiently do what Reddit was able to do with 5-10 employees.


Maybe I'm the only one, but I moved from digg to reddit entirely because digg was blocked at work and reddit wasn't. I've worked at four different places in the last five years and at each one I expect to see reddit blocked as well, but no one has gotten around to it. Maybe my situation is atypical, but I have to believe that the lack of availability of digg to office-bound slackers had to have played some part in it's demise.


I think businesses face significant hurdles (and are likely to die) when the founders lose interest in running them. Digg. Twitter (Dorsey left but came back and saved it). Yahoo. Flickr. MySpace. The list is endless.

Even Microsoft is not the same since Bill Gates handed the reigns to Ballmer. They're just too big (Office/Windows cash cows) to actually die from that.

Founder disinterest is lethal.


As I remember it, Digg forced some updates on it's users that they (we) did not like and were very vocal about. Facebook does the same thing, except there were other options for Digg users (reddit), Facebook users have a steep cost of moving to another service - I would actually argue Facebook users have no other options


To simple put it there was a time when Digg used to be as simple as Reddit, then Kevin Rose got consumed by his own fame of this and that, the kid forgot to focus managing this one and other companies as well (Digg, Pownce, Milk). Did anyone remember Leah Culver? hehehehehe.


I would say diggs attempts at manipulating the front page and banning people, blocking posts, and unfairly pushing some content to the front helped kill it. When I lost faith in the democracy of Digg I just stopped going and spent time with my votes elsewhere (reddit)


Reddit is a bit like the craigslist of news aggregators. They've resisted the lure of monetizing in any big way and continue resolutely to put their users first. Digg got overambitious and sold out and their users smelled it and left.


Digg was killed NOT by Facebook OR Reddit...but by its power users. Those killed Digg.


> What did Reddit do right that Digg did wrong? Well, they haven’t redesigned since what appears to be 1997, which has pleased their user base who like the simple look.

Reddit was founded in 1997?


This article will be useful for the zero people who think Facebook killed Digg.


Digg actually killed themselves. Reddit was just there to reap the rewards.


Digg v4 killed Digg. Reddit filled the void. End of story.


I'm pretty sure it's Yahoo! that pulled the trigger.


This is news?


Digg did not kill Digg. Nor did Reddit, nor Facebook. People using Digg killed it. The same people are now killing Reddit, making it little more than a place to regurgitate memes, nerd pop culture, and rage comics. Reddit and Digg both used to be places to go for interesting discussion based off decent links. Over time, good and insightful discussion gave way to quick-to-consume, funny one-liners. You can see it happening in popular subreddits. Recently the moderators of /r/science started taking a heavy hand and deleting irrelevant comments.

This isn't a problem with the sites, it's a problem with the users of these sites. This is democracy in action. It's cable news. People voting don't want to see challenging, thought-provoking content. They want to see things that confirm their biases, or things they can repost to facebook for quick laughs from their friends.


> People using Digg killed it. The same people are now killing Reddit, making it little more than a place to regurgitate memes

1) With sub-reddits, this hasn't become as big of a problem unless a lot of users still keep the sub-reddits that annoy them. There is a reddit for everyone, especially since anyone can create their own sub-reddit. While Digg only had one idea tribe, Reddit has many. Moreover users that create their own sub-reddits can police them with other like-minded users.

2) Reddit is able to fit more content per page given their design. I don't have to keep clicking the next page link to get more.


I like reddit, almost completely because I've subscribed to several small subreddits that have a good community, high quality content, et al.

But there's a tricky problem. Subreddits like /r/programming dominate, while more focused subreddits like /r/ruby (or whatever) languish. If I have a ruby link and I care at all about karma, I'm going to post it in /r/programming.


Well that's the price for avoiding garbage, you have to do a little more work. It's not impossible to successfully have a branch of an existing sub-reddit. Just take a look at the offshoots of r/gaming: r/gamingnews and r/games; or even the branches off from r/politics like r/progressive and r/libertarian.

In your case, ruby already has a good news site and it doesn't need reddit. Rubyflow is more than sufficient imo


"That's the price for..." implies that this is constant across alternatives, but it's not. One alternative is a hierarchy with subtrees feeding into nodes higher up, so that /r/programming/ruby posts would appear in /r/programming. This has its own set of problems where the price to be paid is not the same as for reddit's completely flat model. I'm not saying this hierarchical model would be better, but it would have different pros and cons.

Call me an optimist, but I can't help but think that there's something better than what's out there now.


> "That's the price for..." implies that this is constant across alternatives, but it's not

Well if there isn't, as I've already mentioned, you can make your own sub-reddit.

> Call me an optimist, but I can't help but think that there's something better than what's out there now.

hmmm you're right... Reddit's sub-reddit's is imo a half-assed implementation of an idea tribe paper that showed up years ago on HN. To this day I can't find it.

Anyways the gist of the idea, is that everyone belongs to an idea tribe / group aimed that making wikipedia better. All of these groups have differences in what they think are accurate, right, cool, etc... However many groups have things that they agree on. The paper talks about how great it would be if we could have something that would highlight those commonalities.


> Well if there isn't, as I've already mentioned, you can make your own sub-reddit.

That doesn't mean anyone's going to use it. It takes a long time to grow a community. I would love for /r/trueskyrim to take off because /r/skyrim has become 99% garbage, 1% content. Unfortunately trueskyrim hasn't had a post in 6 months.

The only reason /r/Games ever took off was because it was started by the mods of /r/gaming and got lots of attention on /r/gaming's front page. Don't get me wrong /r/Games is wonderful, but without the publicity that it got from /r/gaming I doubt anyone would use it.


> Unfortunately trueskyrim hasn't had a post in 6 months.

Why not seed it yourself for a few weeks and see what happens?

> The only reason /r/Games ever took off was because it was started by the mods of /r/gaming and got lots of attention on /r/gaming's front page.

It's not like you can't work with the mods of other sub-reddits. r/libertarian is on r/politic's sub-reddit page


Stackoverflow and stackexchange are much closer to that idea than Reddit.


So you choose to hang out with the worse community so you can have more street-cred (karma) with the worse community?

That is 100% your own fault.


That's certainly true, but I'd say most seasoned users on reddit don't subscribe to much of what's on default front page. The default reddits (funny, pics, f7, atheism, politics, etc) are basically as you describe. Rehashed memes and populist statements.

Anyone who's been on reddit long enough has a front page of all the sub communities they follow, and probably only a couple of the defaults.

The pop-culture types get the pop stuff and the veterans get the small, focused culture, so everyone's mostly satisfied.

When one community starts becoming watered down, someone will usually start a new subreddit, rather than go to a new site altogether.

Altogether, I think these will give reddit better longevity than slashdot/digg.


Completely agree. I feel the strength of HN is in it's walled garden: Share whatever you want, vote on whatever you want, but stay on topic.

HN will be a great place to go to, so long as it is heavily (and transparently) moderated. Otherwise the hordes will come in, and destroy it with meme's and sensationalist articles.


The best part about Reddit, is that you can move with people of a like mind to a different subreddit. /r/games and /r/programming come to mind. If you look, it's not that hard to find places where earnest discussion continues. You're just probably not going to find it on defaults like /r/pics, /r/funny and /r/adviceanimals. They're the mass-market reddit, with a more broad userbase. You have to dig a little deeper to find the places where people submit links to news and have reasoned discussion, but it's still there.


Subreddits like /r/wicked_edge are pretty cut off from reddit proper, it really feels like a different place.


I don't think you can credit Digg's downfall entirely to its users. v4 and sponsored links were a slap to the face of users.

If you're bothered by the community then just subscribe to subreddits. It's the same with Facebook. Any post that annoys you can be filtered with a few clicks. It's quite customizable.


> People using Digg killed it. The same people are now killing Reddit, making it little more than a place to regurgitate memes, nerd pop culture, and rage comics.

Are you basing theory on anything except your personal dislike of regurgitated memes, nerd pop culture and rage comics?

As far as I can tell all evidence points to the fact that Digg was in fact killed by their version 4 release, it was widely disliked by their users and you can find articles about sharp drops of pageviews (never recovered) after that specific release and, IIRC, also articles about reddit gaining pageviews at the same time.


reddit partially gets around this by allowing users to create their own subreddits. i've been much happier with reddit since i unsubscribed from all the default subreddits.


Reddit home page is like that, but I still like some of the subreddits.


Reddit did not kill Digg. Digg killed Digg. Reddit's big break was Digg v4, when most of the community finally jumped ship.


V4 was definitely the tipping point and nail in the coffin for Digg. However, once the Digg community became to large it became difficult to find interesting stories about a particular topic. At the same time twitter, hacker news and many of the sub-reddits became great ways to discover unique content.

So a combination of poor product design, a selling out the Digg community and availability of alternatives killed Digg.


I would argue that the "big break" was actually a bad thing for Reddit. The massive influx of disenfranchised Digg users contributed to the decline of quality on Reddit big-time.


reddit's quality is in renascence currently, as the big and popular subreddits (e.g. pics, science) have figured out what the 'moderate' button does. until every single one of the default subreddits start moderating, the main reddit will be rubbish.


And I would credit /r/askscience for it. They have shown how wonderful banhammer is, with mods that don't hesitate to use it.


Agreed. People still would have gone elsewhere even if Reddit didn't exist.


Absolutely. Digg became so bad that if it were the only news web site on the net then newspapers would've had nothing to worry about.


Guess I will be the first one to admit that I have no idea about Digg's development versions.

So the question is: What was the big deal with v4?


They redesigned the site in a visually unappealing way and allowed news sources to auto submit content. Overnight, it became this ugly site where the only links were auto-submitted stories from popular newspapers, cable news, and other mainstream media. See this story for more: http://searchengineland.com/digg-v4-how-to-successfully-kill...


no, Digg killed digg. They didn't listen to the community and they lost user data and did nothing to recover it, at least that was my experience after loosing several thousand diggs on my user account and then being reset to 0. You can't imagine the piss off.


I loved digg. When it was first out, I was able to get roughly 70,000 people to my website per week by just posting an article and having my friends digg it.


Actually, IMO Hacker News killed Digg. All the news here would have been in Digg otherwise :)


Tsk tsk. The Lack of a sense of humor.


I also used to read Digg all the time, but over time it became a cesspool of pro-microsoft trolling, and I left in disgust. Imagine being attacked every time you expressed legitimate disappointment with vista. I expect we are going to witness something similar this fall on reddit (and even here) when that new polished turd gets released.


Really? I don't remember seeing any pro-microsoft trolling - perhaps it was hidden by the much larger Apple fanboy contingent.


> Really?

Yes, REALLY My memory seems to function better than yours.


Another former Digg user who never saw anything of the sort, and in fact saw far more pro-Apple stuff than anything else.


I think we all understand how selective memory works, but thanks for the reminder.

Let me restate that the pro-microsoft trolls were the reason I left Digg in disgust.


There's something about writing "in digust" in italics that makes me laugh uncontrollably.

Looking through your past comments it is clear that you have some sort of grudge against Microsoft, so perhaps I am not surprised you were downvoted after all.


Well apparently, in your opinion, selective memory only affects people other than you.

In case you didn't know, Digg was my day job from 2004-2007.


Ever been to r/politics? Someone's paying college students to patrol some threads to make sure everyone agrees with the hive-mind. It's fun if you can find a good community.


Proof?




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