Home Digg Responds to User Outrage: Upcoming Stories Will Return

Digg Responds to User Outrage: Upcoming Stories Will Return

Digg has had one heck of a week. On Wednesday the social news aggregator decided it was a good time to make the switch to version 4 of its platform, which sent servers crashing and drove users bonkers. That was followed with overwhelming outrage over the buggy and feature-stripped new site, and today loyal Digg users spammed the site pleading for founder Kevin Rose to “do the right thing.” This afternoon, Rose responded to the Digg community on his personal blog, announcing the return of features like “Upcoming Stores.”

What’s Changing

The Upcoming section, as we noted yesterday, is where many of Digg’s most loyal users spent time attempting to influence which stories would make the front page. Many complaints focused around the removal of this section, which Rose says accounts for less than half of a percent of site traffic. “I definitely see the fun behind wanting to see stories just before they jump, so we’ll add a view of upcoming popular stories soon,” he says.

Another change that angered many users was that the site defaulted to the new “My News” section, which is populated with stories submitted, commented on and dugg by a user’s friends and contacts. This caused many long-time Digg users to accuse the site of “becoming too much like Facebook and Twitter.” Rose says the default homepage will soon become toggleable between My News and Top News, stating simply, “Makes sense, we’ll add this setting.”

The social My News section has been the focus of the relaunch and Rose is probably disappointed Digg users weren’t more accepting of the feature. While it certainly, “makes sense” to make the default homepage an interchangeable setting, it wasn’t what he wanted, or it would have been included from the start.

What’s NOT Changing

There are a few areas where Rose is refusing to bow to pressure from the site’s users. Many were disappointed that the ability to “bury” stories was removed in the latest version, and argue it eliminates their ability to keep bad stories from the front pages of the site. Rose argues that “by removing the bury button we have put a stop to the bury brigades,” and notes that users can report malicious content by clicking a “hide” button near each story.

Another change that has irked many users are the up- and down-voting buttons on comments, which were changed to arrows from their previous thumb versions. It’s a minor change, but it means a lot in the Digg community, especially when arrows are used on many other sites, including the Reddit community.

Rose seemingly brushed this issue away, making a reference to the popular Old Spice advertisements. “Look at v3, now back again, the arrows are now diamonds,” he writes. Nope, they’re still arrows. Personally I could care less if they’re arrows or thumbs, but the community at large seems to care a great deal, so it seems like a no-brainer.

Is It Enough?

There are still many lingering concerns for fans of Digg. While many contend that the new Digg plays into the hands of popular mainstream media outlets (the same outlets Digg was originally designed to circumvent) and takes away power from individual submitters and smaller sites, Rose says that all diggers are created equal.

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But will these changes be enough to appease the Digg community? Early responses have been mixed, with a leaning toward positive, but time will tell whether the users choose to meet Rose in the middle. Let us know how you feel about the changes and the fixes to the new Digg by leaving us a comment below!

Photo by Joi Ito

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