Startups of the week #28.1

With Digg close to being extinct, a team of developers have worked around the clock to rethink Digg, and the new site - out later this week - looks pretty nice to us.

1. Digg

Two weeks ago, UXB's social media summary reported that Digg had been bought for a mere $500,000. This was huge news as the site was once worth $175million. There were a few reasons for the sites downfall but a big factor was the awful redesign in 2010 that unintentionally encouraged users to leave to rival sites such as Reddit.

[Image from Rethink Digg]

Started by Kevin Rose in 2004, Digg began life as an experiment to let users discover, share and recommend web content. If you believed something was good, you voted it up the page with a "Digg" and if it wasn't your thing, you could down vote it with a "bury". The idea changed the internet by organising the best content in an easy list.

Now owned by New York's Betaworks, the site has been down for the last six weeks while the team worked non-stop to deliver a brand new version of Digg, which will launch later this week. In fact, the Rethink Digg blog (pointed to us by ex-UXB'ster FatKidOnFire) have leaked previews of the new design and it looks like they are fixing the errors made in 2010.

The new look to Digg promises to be a "beautiful, image-friendly and ad-free experience. The most exciting aspect of Digg's redesign is the four goals they are focusing on, which aims to bring the best experience to the user. These four goals are:

  • We make it easy to find, read, and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet right now.
  • The experience must be fast and thin. Let users go, and they will come back to you. We optimize for return visits, not pageviews per visit.
  • Build an experience that is native to each device: smart phone, inbox, Web page. Stories must find the user, wherever they are.
  • Users must be able to share where they and their friends already are — on networks like Facebook, Twitter and email.

August 30th 2010 was considered quit Digg day as many users flocked to Reddit and flooded Digg's homepage with the rival's content. However, August 2012 may see a "rejoin Digg day".