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7 Things Digg.com Drove Into the Ground

The Girls of Digg.com

Digg, as we knew it, is dead. To make matters worse, Digg v4 is in complete chaos. Angry “power users” who were stripped of their adjective are attempting to fight back by rallying people to “Digg” articles from rival sites. At one point today, 12 of the 16 links on Digg’s front page were pointing to Reddit.com or related stories. The inmates are running the asylum (dot com).

As what’s left of the Digg community struggles in vain to find funny pictures of cats and articles from Gawker.com, fear and panic are sure to set in. During this period of turmoil, many will long for a simpler time. But their nostalgia for “Old Digg” will be misplaced. While New Digg may or may not prove worthless, Old Digg had to die. The site had too much power, and was responsible for taking some of the greatest topics on the Internet and running them straight into the ground. Here are seven examples.

Cats
Can I Has A Coffin? Cat.

Everybody loves funny pictures of cats. Even hard-line cat haters can enjoy a photo of a tabby dressed like a cowboy, or a video of a kitten falling off a table. And let us never forget the phenom that was Keyboard Cat (god rest his soul). But thanks to Digg.com and sites like it, the Internet is experiencing a funny-cat bubble the likes of which the world has never seen. And when it bursts, the backlash will be so severe that the housing-bubble will seem as insignificant as a rerun of “Just Shoot Me.” Hide Mr. Whiskers, because no cat will be safe from the wrath of an angry populous.

Ron Paul
Ron Paul Breasts Bumpersticker

Far be it from me to bash Ron Paul. Anybody who is demanding an audit of Fort Knox because he’s worried there might not be any gold in the vault is my kind of crazy. But when your rabid followers are blatantly rigging the system to push sympathetic articles to the front page of Digg, it sort of takes away the mystique and makes anything Paul related easy for others to dismiss.

Let me rephrase that. When your followers are caught blatantly rigging the system, it’s a problem. Everybody was doing it, but you got sloppy. Be more careful, fellow Digg Patriots. Dr. Paul deserves better.

Bacon
The Bacon Bra

I never thought I’d see the day when bacon jumped the shark. It’s one of the most delicious foods known to man, and is worthy of much of its praise. But even it has a limit.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan and the genius behind the Ultimate Bacon Sandwich (and later the Bacon Burger and Bacon Cereal) helped bring the delicacy to prominence on the web. But as time went on, every asshole and their brother who could throw together some sort of half-assed bacon gimmick would find their way onto the Digg front page. When I saw the bacon bra submitted for the 1200th time, I knew the fad had gone too far (Why is the bacon raw? It doesn’t make sense!). Thanks, Digg, for helping to ruin something wonderful.

Infographics
stupid infographic

I love information, but I hate to read. If only there was a fun, colorful way to transfer said information yet minimize the need for cumbersome words! Behold, the inforgraphic!

On the surface, infographics are great. When done right, they quickly impart information in a fraction of the time it would take to read an article. Also, the visualization of information can be a compelling way to drive home a point that words just can’t capture. As such, it’s easy to see why Digg fell in love with these useful tools. It’s also easy to see why desperate websites ran them into the ground.

Time after time, power users would push pointless, half-assed infographics onto the front page for any website willing to pay the price. Rather than visualizing information, many of these “graphics” were little more than shitty articles pasted into a .jpg file along with a few crappy clip-art images thrown in for good measure.

The Big Lebowski

the big lebowski movie cartoonOkay sir, you love Lebowski, I love Lebowski, that’s terrific. But I’m very busy, so what can I do for you?

The Big Lebowski is an amazing film, and I’m glad to see it get the recognition it deserves. But landing on the Digg front page became as easy as shooting fish in a barrel for anyone armed with a “Dude” reference. Lebwoski wasn’t the only offender (Shawshank comes to mind), but how many times can a man hear a nihilist joke before he’s forced to draw a line in the sand?

"Fail," "Epic," "FTW," Etc.
fail cat has cheese on his head

Pictures of people getting hurt will always be funny. Couple such a picture with a funny caption, and you’ve got yourself a comedic goldmine. But when did simply typing the word “fail” under a pic of a man falling crotch-first onto a thorn bush become an acceptable way to enhance a photo? The minute Digg got wind of it.

I’m not saying Digg is totally responsible (obviously Failblog has a lot to answer for), nor am I saying that “fail” pictures aren’t funny. What I am saying is that Digg and sites like it took something amusing and overexposed it to the point where my 60-year-old boss was saying “Fail” (improperly) every time the copy machine would malfunction. Catchphrase FAIL!

Lists
letterman's top 10 listsLists have probably been popular since the invention of the written word (The Ten Commandments are pretty old), and for good reason. They’re easy to read, and useful as a mother f***! In the 1980’s, David Letterman took it one step further by using the list format as a vehicle for comedy with his now iconic “Top Ten Lists.” But Digg’s constant obsession with list-related articles drove the format so far into the ground that people in China are now reading the “Top Ten Funniest MacGruber Sketches of All Time.” Let’s hope they read this one as well. I could use the traffic.

28 Responses to "7 Things Digg.com Drove Into the Ground"

  1. CoffeeRob says:

    So @digg also killed off http://labs.digg.com as well. I loved the Stack! I also gave beta feedback to save labs. But I guess they don’t like it anymore.

  2. DeeRaz says:

    Digg has always been worthless IMHO. I tried to use the site and all I found was junk. sites like http://stock.ly are exploding because people want the socialness, but also to find valuable information.

  3. The Judge says:

    I think that you forgot to mention *Cynically dismissing a(n): idea – culture – design – piece of art – movement – philosophy with generalities and heavy handed opinions to make the writer/reader feel better about themselves. Oh wait, you are doing that right now. I am caught in a time vortex ! Ahhhhhhh!

  4. Jame Gumb says:
    I’m sorry I made fun of cat pics.
  5. www.subcorpus.net says:

    DonkeyXote ::
    I wonder everyone says that …
    The Big Lebowski is not the best movie ever made …
    Definitely not !!!

  6. Anonymous 123232 says:

    I do agree that lists are killing the internets.

  7. Anonymous 9898989 says:

    There can never be too much bacon!!!

  8. Stereotypical Black Man says:

    Them Ron Paul titties is bangin!

  9. Ashley says:

    Why am on the cover of this as a dig girl? I don’t even use digg but I guess that was a huge article. o.O

  10. Clucheek F. Iseult says:

    This entire web site, not just this article, is deeply disturbing, who ever wrote this literature should be investigated for possible war crimes, specifically crimes against public infrastructure, due to anarchists influenced by your many works destroying several notable public statues around the globe recently, as well as crimes against humanity, specifically women and children who were unfortunately abused by sick persons who were influenced by your literature.. I will be reporting this to the appropriate authorites.

  11. Clucheek F. Iseult says:

    Sorry, I was browsing multiple web pages and inadvertently posted that on the wrong site. Have A Great Day!

  12. Bob says:

    This article is just all crap

  13. sohbet says:

    Yeah, that was kind of the joke.

  14. Why am on the cover of this as a dig girl? I don’t even use digg but I guess that was a huge article. o.O

  15. Jerry says:

    FIRST!!

  16. RackDaddy says:

    “FAIL!” is right up there with “noob” or “pwned” in the Jeopardy category of “Annoying Things an 13-Year Old Gamer” would say.

  17. Ian Fortey says:
    Half of everything on this list can be found regularly in our comments section.  The other half can  be found regularly posted as content.
  18. aPlateOfGrapes.com says:

    Word.

  19. Orifize jerk says:

    Fail!

  20. Noob says:

    FTW!!!!111111ONEONETWOONETHREEONE!111

  21. DonkeyXote says:

    The Big Lebowski, one of the best movies ever made. DUDE!

  22. skippy mcphiff says:

    what, ??? does this mean I can get kicked off digg all over again??

    cool!

  23. ominous says:

    This is a paradox. The undoing of Digg is caused by the choice of its people, but the choice of its people is the what makes up Digg.

    My mind is blown

  24. Noob says:

    Did he died?

  25. Jame Gumb says:
    Yeah, that was kind of the joke.
  26. Anonymous99 says:

    but… you just made a list… and in your list you complain about lists… my head hurts, but I guess you lack the necessary equipment for such a malady.

  27. VooYing says:

    Yummmmmmmm, Bacon! I like! Umm, Free Cat is NOT having a good day :/

    Lou
    http://www.online-privacy.it.tc

  28. advertific says:

    Interesting article. imho, the ability of users to remove everyone’s content with bury was the coolest thing about Digg. Digg isn’t dead, it’s switched off, they can add features to the new version and win the users back.

    The diggers simply don’t want to waste their time clicking if it don’t do nuthin.

    my digg article: http://advertific.com/thats-big-thats-digg/