Guest author Donald Draper is an occasional contributor to ReadWriteWeb.
Recently, I ended a long relationship with Digg.com. And I'm relieved.
For a time, Digg was glorious. For sharing great content, it was the only game in town, and it felt like the future. And whenever outside forces threatened its existence, fears were quickly squashed with reassurances and shows of support from Mr. Kevin Rose. Most of you will remember the infamous Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0. Those days, Digg was shaping the future of the Web.
Rose once said, "We'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company." But a "bigger company" turned out to be the least of its problems.
More recently, I seem to have devoted myself to engaging in a platform for which good will and good content is irrelevant - because people can't stop themselves from hopelessly corrupting its ecosystem, and its architects can't stop themselves from living in a past that while glorious, no longer exists. A platform that never evolves or improves, causes hostile relations among its users and makes the Internet unhappy.
But for many, there was the promise of reputation, a lot of reputation. Allegedly for some, there was also money in it. That is if certain parties violated the terms of service and decided to take money for pushing sub-par content to the front page. In fact, it got to the point where the entire platform was consumed by this unethical tomfoolery. Everyone knew it was unhealthy, but most ignored it. It was enough to drive a man right to the well-stocked office liquor cabinet.
And then, as the Web evolved and savvy users moved their sharing habits elsewhere, I realized here was my chance to be someone who could sleep at night - because I know what I'm sharing doesn't kill my moral center, or monopolize my online reputation.
There is no such thing as manufactured excellence, and Don Draper doesn't pay to play. So as of today, I will no longer "digg."
I know it's going to be hard. If you're interested in valuable, untainted content sharing, here's a list of services that do it relatively well: Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Hacker News, Email.
As for me, I'll continue to focus on other endevaors, such as building my impressive scotch collection, hanging out in the West Village, and escaping impossible moral dilemas completely unscathed.
I welcome all of you to join me elsewhere online, because I'm certain that all of our best tweets and "likes" are still ahead of us.
Donald F. Draper
Creative Director, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Former Digg Enthusiast