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Digg'ing Its Own Grave

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Remember Digg? Just a couple years ago, it was a major player in crowd-sourced news. Getting a link on the the site's front page meant tons of traffic. Nowadays? Not so much.

Digg is done. A New York tech firm called Betaworks bought Digg last week for a mere $500,000 -- about what they find under the couch cushions over at Google. Just four years ago, Digg was valued at $160 million. To put that in perspective, that's like spending $900 for a Ferrari that sold for $300,000 in 2008.

Of course, a $900 Ferrari might still get you from point A to B, but I'm not sure you can say the same about Digg. Of Technorati's top 15 ranked blogs, I found the Digg sharing icon visible on only one site's individual posts. All of them had Facebook and Twitter icons; most had G+, several had LinkedIn and a few even had Pinterest share buttons.

From The Wall Street Journal: "Digg was once one of the most promising start-ups in Silicon Valley. The website was founded in 2004 as a way for consumers to put together their own collections of news and other Internet content, rather than relying on the choices made by newspaper editors."

The Journal article figures Digg was undone by a poorly-received redesign and the emergence of Facebook and Twitter. Personally, some of the boorish behavior that was rampant on the site turned me off. Also, the constant battle between liberals and conservatives to vote certain stories up or down was often not worth the aggravation.

Whatever the reasons that Digg got overtaken by competitors, it dug its own grave.

Betaworks supposedly has a plan to revive the Digg brand. I can see that happening, right after MySpace makes its big comeback, along with 60 baud dial-up modems. Digg CEO Matt Williams, who is leaving the company once the sale is complete, wrote on Digg's blog: "Coming soon, Betaworks will unveil a new cloud-based version of Digg to complement the current News.me iPhone and iPad apps. Stay tuned."

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