Once eye-balled by Google for $200 million dollars, New York technology studio Betaworks swooped in and purchased Digg and its remaining properties for just $500,000 on July 12. Betaworks has posted on its Rethink Digg blog that it is moving forward with plans to rebuild the entire site from scratch. Even more interestingly, it plans to do so in just six weeks with a team of 10 developers, designers and editors.
As soon as August 1, the Betaworks-Digg team will launch their first take on the newly redesigned Digg. During this process, the site will be moved from its old, expensive infrastructure to a more efficient setup. The team also promises the reincarnation of Digg will be modern, fast, shiny and new.
As to why Betaworks so gung-ho about the revitalization of Digg, they sum it up in their FAQ.
"Digg represented the messiness of the Internet at its best. It showed us that, out of the noise and the clutter, between the lolcats and the Kim Kardashian stories, a passionate but uncoordinated group of strangers could come together to create something coherent and substantial. Alone, each of these individuals had no following, but together they were able to capture a global audience with stories that the mainstream media had mistakenly deemed unimportant. Digg is worth protecting. To do that, we need your help, your input and your support."
The languishing social news aggregator, once an extremely popular destination on the web, faced much criticism and suffered a severe user exodus after rolling out major changes to its website in 2010. Trumpeted as Digg v4, the update was criticized for "taking away the power" of its users. Many users were left upset by the elimination of key social features which had long been mainstays of Digg, like the removal categories, friend submissions, bury and videos -- just to name a few. Also controversial was the ability for anyone to auto-submit material via RSS feeds, a feature which perturbed Digg users who feared abuse by spammers. Ironically, the auto-submission feature was eventually used against Digg in protest, allowing articles from Reddit to overtake Digg's news stream. It is believed that Reddit absorbed a large number of Digg users, making it the 126th most popular destination on the Internet, according to Alexa.
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