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, AOL’s Netscape property will no longer be just another portal – it’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).