7 reasons to stop predicting a ‘digg killer’

there has been too much talk going around about this site or that site being a digg killer (or replacement). while i think its great for the ‘socially driven news’ space as well as for digg itself that new sites pop up and try to compete with the incumbent, it is not only frustratingly inaccurate but the practice of labeling every new socially driven site as a ‘digg killer’ has become incredibly trite.

here are some examples from bloggers that (while i disagree with them from time to time) i have a lot of respect for and think have enough foresight (and their fingers on the pulse of the industry) to predict the next big thing. let’s take a look at their thoughts on what would kill digg and how it obviously didn’t.

Behind Curtain Number One: Michael Arrington

What he said: “On Thursday, AOLโ€™s Netscape property will no longer be just another portal – itโ€™s being converted into a Digg-killer.”

Verdict: While I think Netscape, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc are all great sites in their own right, none of them is a Digg Killer.

Behind Curtain Number Two: Pete Cashmore

What he said: “MySpace News: The Digg Killer?”

Verdict: MySpace News is not an Anything Killer.

Behind Curtain Number Three: Jason Calacanis

What he said: “Will digg die the death of 1,000 cuts?”

Verdict: Pligg is a great content management system, but the secret behind digg’s success is not just the socially driven system the site uses but the huge incredibly active community that it has engendered. Pligg is not going to kill digg.

Behind Curtain Number Four: Robert Scoble

What he said: “Google Reader + Facebook Application = Digg killer?”

Verdict: Mario Romero’s application is great but by no means even close to being a replacement for Digg.

Behind Curtain Number Five: Josh Lowensohn

What he said: “Streamy–yes, it’s a Digg killer”

Verdict: After using Streamy for a couple of days I can say with complete certainty that Streamy and Digg aren’t even competing in the same space.

Behind Curtain Number Six: Jeremiah Owyang

What he said: “Could NewsTrust be a Digg Killer?”

Verdict: NewsTrust is a great product and while i don’t see it as a digg killer, it is definitely something that could be integrated into digg to provide a better social news experience.

Behind Curtain Number Seven: Steve Rubel (and Steve Mermelstein)

What they said: “Steve Mermelstein wisely states that Google Reader could be a digg killer.”

Verdict: Google Reader is not even a high-end feed reader replacement, let alone a Digg Killer.

As you can see, I have only begun to skim the surface with these few observations. There are hundreds if not thousands of sites that are referred to as Digg Killers while they are simply socially driven sites trying to implement or further the socially driven news model. While it’s great to give these sites coverage and complement/critique them for their work, it’s just unfair to expect them to stand a chance against Digg and in most cases even the other big sites (Netscape, Reddit, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Fark, Slashdot, and so on).

19 thoughts on “7 reasons to stop predicting a ‘digg killer’

  1. Urbanist

    None of these may be ‘Digg-killers’ but if I Digg doesn’t keep adapting to keep up with user requests for new features, someday soon there may in fact be a Digg-killer ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Joseph

    If digg does not stop the constant and obsessive political bashing by its coterie of wingnuts, it will not require a outside force to kill it, it will commit suicide.

  4. Penguin Pete

    Gah! thank you for putting the Digg-killer rumors where they belong.

    In the web-work field, five years ago all anybody could talk about was SEO for Google. Now everybody wants their site written to attract Digg, as if it were the only site on the Internet. If we could just please try to be individuals and not run around frantically trying to copy each other like a cage full of monkeys, maybe we’ll come up with the next innovative idea that is as lucrative as Digg, without trying to copy them.

  5. chris

    I’d write something but nobody would believe me. Something is coming that won’t necessarily kill digg but it will dramatically change the market. digg is missing/ignoring something, but those boxed in by what has become the uncreative thinking of the silicon valley don’t see it.

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  7. Niko Bellic

    If facebook wanted, they could easily launch an app that would plug in to facebook and they could drive facebook users over to the site and I guarantee they could not only crush, but kill Digg.

  8. Marty

    Let me give you 2 reasons why we need a dig killer…

    1) There technology sucks, and they do not listen to their users
    2) They have lost focus and are to horizontal, and any focus has been political.
    3) There comment section sucks
    4) It’s slow and feels fat.
    5) Lots of bull shit on the site, you have to really read comments to get the real story on news (I dont have time for that).

  9. Auto Parts Geek

    I don’t see why Digg has to be “killed” for a news site or a social bookmarking site to be successful. I guess this just comes to show how popular Digg has already become that any startup on social bookmarking has to be compared to them.

    Just let Digg be. I don’t see people being forced to just put their loyalty on one cup. Though, honestly, the site has to take care of its ever growing fans as time goes by.


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