05/21/2012 02:25 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2012

With Digg in Decline, 'Thruzt' Emerges in Wake of Dying Community

An ex-Digg user by the moniker of "Zetadog" has a crafty idea, proposing to create an alternative to the ever-decreasing popularity of social media bookmarking site

His creation, called Thruzt, is tied in with the game of social media and networking. Where getting attention is up to your own creativity. The goal of Thruzt is to build up your network in order to attract attention to user-submitted content.

Thruzt focuses on serving as a tool for bloggers and journalists. But it's not exclusive to the former -- it's for anyone with something to share with the world. The emphasis of Thruzt is really about building strength in an active social media community that can generate traffic to third-party sites.

So why was Thruzt created? Marcus Hirn (aka ZetaDog) tells me:

"I created Thruzt initially out of frustration with Digg and other social media, not performing the tasks needed by the users. I used to be very active on the Digg community but when Digg changed to V4 in Aug 2010 the community started dying. Digg was so unsatisfactory that after waiting for a year. I was hoping Digg would fix itself, and after nothing happened, I finally decided to do something about it. I looked at Digg, Google+, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I came to the conclusion that none of them are [serving as] a traffic generating service for bloggers, journalists and others who used to use Digg and other platforms to help get word out about their posts and articles."

Will Thruzt make waves in the social sphere? Possibly.

By providing a traffic generating tool for promotion and attention that does not restrain, restrict or censor the submissions from the community -- but that may cause user-retention problems.

If Thruzt was indeed built with the two primary foundations, as Hirn states:

First, to rebuild a strong social media community, and second to give bloggers, journalists and others a way to get attention and send traffic to their blogs and websites.

It may gain enough steam on the social sphere, but on the flip-side, may also be cumbersome to some users, and have them drop off of the Thruzt radar.

As it may seem, Thruzt is awfully similar to Digg. Or is it? While the popular belief that content on the front-page of Digg is user-moderated, it's quite the contrary. Digg staffers control the front-page, making it difficult for smaller websites and blogs to have a chance at growing their readership. In other words, Digg censors the users, whereas Thruzt is taking the route of providing asylum to the everyman. Anyone interested in social media networking as well as running social media campaigns may soon be adding Thruzt to the long list of link aggregation sites to submit to.

My confidence in the long-term strategy of Thruzt is uncertain. Caveats I'm forecasting Hirn to tackle include:

  • Ridiculous amounts of link spam.
  • SEO abuse.
  • Power users taking the upper-hand on vote count inflation.
  • Growing an organic community outside of the Digg refugees.
  • Lack of moderation.
  • Micro-groups of "anti" this-and-that, demonstrating strength in numbers.
  • A much needed UI redesign, right now the site is not as simple as say, reddit.

If Thruzt proves to be a sustainable product with an unclear business model, I'd be quite impressed.