Kevin Rose has gone on record saying the next version of Digg, due within months, will feature some drastic changes that in his own words will leave some of their users “shocked.” It isn’t altogether clear exactly what Mr. Rose has planned, including navigation bar and Digg button changes, and a greater focus on “real-time” content.
Another big change is that there would be a greater focus on what those more closely associated with a user are digging rather than the user base at large. Previously, the concept of digging meant all users had a say in what content made it to the front pages of the site.
The switch appears to be a response to a overall paradigm shift when it comes to social networking. Sites like Twitter and Facebook have made consumers more apt to follow what their friends are doing rather than some random Internet user they may no nothing about.
Call me crazy, but I feel drastic changes like what seems to be proposed here are often perilous. Users are accustomed to one way of doing things. If you change too much of what has made you popular, you risk alienating and frustrating your loyal users. Will Digg’s changes do just that? It’s hard to say.
I’m just hoping here that they’re not planning to change too much of the user experience, or that could definitely spell trouble.
(Hat tip: Telegraph UK)