Digg’s power users aren’t called ‘power users’ for nothing. Aside from gaming one of the most popular social news websites around, they have also succeeded in forcing the Digg team to raise the white flag and give in to their demands: the return of the features that made them into ‘power users’ before the disastrous roll-out of Digg v4 last August.
Digg’s new CEO Matt Williams has announced their terms of surrender in a recent blog post:
It’s certainly been an eventful first month on the job. As many of you know, the launch of Digg v4 didn’t go smoothly, and we’re deeply sorry that we disappointed our Digg community in the process. Thank you for your patience and your extremely candid feedback — we hear you loud and clear.
Recently, we’ve been reinstating a number of the features that many of you loved about Digg. In the past two weeks we’ve brought back the “Upcoming” section, started restoring user profiles from the previous version of Digg, and made small but important tweaks to the site including better pagination. In the next few weeks we’ll bring back the bury button, restore all user profiles (including comment and submission history), add filters and navigation for videos and images, provide a tool for users to report comment violations, and update the Top News algorithm and overall site design based upon your feedback. The result will hopefully be a much better web site experience.
Poor Matt Williams, just a month into the new job and already his doing damage control for Digg, while his predecessor, interim CEO and founder Kevin Rose, who championed Digg v4, goes on his merry way to do other things to his fancy.
The question now is, will this turn-around win back the Digg users who defected over to rival Reddit? Digg v4.x – a hybrid of the new “personalized Facebook + Twitter-like” Digg v4 and the core features of previous versions of Digg will be a pretty interesting thing to see.
In the long run, it seems that Digg would have to consult its core user base, aka the ‘power users’ first before implementing any core changes to the site. In this scenario, the so-called ‘wisdom of the crowd’ has turned into a ‘mafia rule’.