Digg advertising partners less accommodating
During the past several weeks, Digg slashed one-third of its workforce while watching site traffic plummet by 40% as loyal users continued their mass exodus. However, yesterday's events may well be the coup de grace.
Lt General Panda, a long-time Digg user, released a series of spreadsheets, documenting the means by which Digg management, perhaps led by the new CEO, perhaps instigated by former CEO Kevin Rose, chose to alter its news-story selection algorithm. The algorithm is intended to reflect the Voice of the Digg User.
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Algorithm-related background details
Digg's proprietary algorithm was developed by the now vanished Digg Labs. The algorithm monitors Digg user input regarding perceived merit of submitted articles, which is then used to determine and adjust each article's relative visibility on the "front page". That is oversimplified. Digg provides more detail in the FAQ.
Lt. Gen Panda's story was quickly picked up by TechCrunch, suggesting that Digg tampered with its own proprietary algorithm in order to give greater prominence to items of interest to advertisers, rather than users.
|Digg Labs website offline since Aug 2010|
Advertisers already had a strong presence on the site, with banner ads and sponsored stories. By removing the Digg user community's freedom to select content based on merit, Digg management effectively removed all motivation to use Digg. After all, one can view as much display advertising and media news feeds as one wants simply by subscribing for free to feeds delivering stories via browser or newsreader.