Digg‘s latest iteration, version 4, went live today to the public. It sports an overhauled look that gives an updated appearance and puts more emphasis on the social side of the site. Digg is a news submission site where all the coolest things on the Internet can be found. They have now made that experience more customizable by following certain profiles and seemingly have made being followed a higher priority. I’m sure there are many changes and improvements I haven’t even found yet with this update.
They really seem to want to encourage following relevant Digg profiles to get stories you care about. Step 1 after creating an account on the New Digg suggests you follow some popular profiles to get the rising scoop early. If you’d like to follow me, you can find my profile here: http://digg.com/404TechSupport (I started a new account and Digg has been largely down today, so I’m not that inactive.)
Amongst other things the new commenting layout looks better in my opinion, and there are settings to what you see or what gets hidden by default including a profanity filter.
One noticeable change is that submitting a new story is much faster and easier. Right at the top of every page, you can submit a new URL. It still grabs the information from a site but it takes much less time to grab that information and it presents it in a more compact form.
Another new feature (as far as I’m aware), you can auto-submit new posts by providing Digg with your RSS feed. This seems like a controversial issue. As a content creator, this will make it easier to get articles into Digg right away but as a Digg user I’m afraid this will make it too easy to flood Digg with low quality submissions. Fortunately there is a verification process required meaning only the original creators of the RSS feed will be able to opt into this process. I can think of a couple of ways off the top of my head on how to game this implementation though.
Not everything has gone smoothly though. Digg had a stretch of downtime earlier today while launching the service, which also led it to find a place amongst the top in Google Trends. Personally, I’ve run into a lot of broken links, unable to verify e-mail address, the login process fails, or any number of thing that can go wrong with launching an updated service in place of an old one. Fortunately things seem to be catching up but they are still far from seamless.
It looks like Digg is one-upping Twitter’s Fail Whale by invoking the Oregon Trail game we all grew up playing.
Hopefully onto greener pastures tomorrow.