The post on Twitter late last night simply said "changes coming to digg v4" but it was enough to get me excited, mainly because the person posting those five words was none other than Digg founder and head honcho Kevin Rose.
The launch of Digg version 4 , which as we reported here on DaniWeb was less of a minor tweak and more of a major move towards tackling the growing popularity of Twitter and Facebook, only happened a couple of days ago. But 48 hours is a long time on the Internet, and angry Digg users have been very vocal in making their largely negative opinions known. Not that it's the first time Digg users have vented spleens over changes, anyone recall the great Digg advertising debate?
Kevin Rose and the Digg team find themselves between a rock and hard place, needing to do something to reverse the monthly visitor downturn (from 30 million to 25 million per month during the last year) but at the same time not piss off those loyal Digg users who have stuck with them through good times and bad. And so it was 'that Tweet' appeared last night, promising changes will come to the new Digg just 48 hours after it was born. So what is the problem, and what is Kevin Rose going to do? Well, actually, the problem is plural.
In a missive entitled Digg v4: release, iterate, repeat Rose admits that "not everyone is happy" with the new design, but insists that "the usage looks extremely good" with more people registering on a daily basis than before. However, Rose does take the opportunity to "address some of the common concerns" that have been aired regarding the new site look and feel.
In amongst the thrust and counter-thrust of complaints and justifications, are some interesting admissions of things that have gone very wrong: Rose admits that user favorites should not have been deleted "Our fault, we'll add these to your 'saved stories' section" and that timestamps being removed was a bug that he "hopes to have fixed soon" for example. Not forgetting the resetting of historical submission Digg counts and mangling of associated comment sections, which again Rose promises to fix.
Not too many bugs then? Well, actually, I've not finished yet: Rose also admits to bugs that have caused all usernames to be lower-case, that have stopped RSS feeds from working and broken all third-party tools. "Some of these fixes/features will take longer than others" Rose states, adding "we hope to have the bulk of these issues resolved soon". The top priority would appear to be to stabilize the new Digg site, then and only then will Rose and his team look at the user feedback and usage data and decide what, if anything, needs changing moving forward.
Those vocal and angry users will, I imagine, be hoping that changes are made to bring back the upcoming stories section, address the balance of power issue between mainstream outlets/power users and ordinary 'diggers', and getting the main story discussion back up in front of the friends comment feed.
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .