Tag Archives | Kevin Rose

A Twitter Account for Kevin Rose’s Cold? Are You Serious?

Okay, Web 2.0 has officially jumped the shark with this one. For reasons unknown, Digg founder Kevin Rose has decided to create a twitter account for the cold he has apparently caught. I’m not exactly sure why I’d care to know the latest goings-on about Mr. Rose’s mucus buildup or his aches and pains, but they’ll be listed for all the world to see.

I wouldn’t have covered this if it weren’t for the 771 users who have decided to follow this, which absolutely just blows my mind. Yes, I guess its funny for a moment — but should we really waste Twitter’s bandwidth for some mindless drivel?

kevinscoldGod knows Twitter can’t stay up, so why add more traffic that really is not going to better the lives of the web community at large. Oh wait, it may be good for the employees who work at Digg HQ, who now know not to come within 500 feet of their fearless leader for fear of catching whatever nasty bug Kevin has.

(I wonder, will their afflicitions create Twitter accounts too? Maybe this is a new strain of Web-aware viruses! Doctors would just need to @reply them to figure out how to best treat the afflicted. Talk about a superbug!)

Maybe I’m just failing to see the humor in it here, but come on now.

Here’s another one for somebody’s iPhone. This one is even more popular! 2,270 followers to learn where and what Justine’s iPhone is doing. Who the heck is Justine? And why do I care what her phone is doing? Good lord.

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Digg’s Problems Aren’t Going to Be Easily Fixed

There are stories on the Internets today about Kevin Rose’s talk in London during the Future of Web Apps conference. Specifically, Rose was tapped to to talk about the future of online news, and he was surprisingly candid about Digg’s problems while there.

A common critique of the site is that while it may sport some impressive user numbers — some 30 million per month, it only has a userbase of three million members. Of those, it’s likely that far less actually participate in “digging.” This means a fairly small number of Digg’s users are essentially driving what everyone else sees.

What results is a skewed sense of news, and has led to the criticism of the site, much of it warranted. It is also what led Netscape to create its own clone of the popular social news site (now defunct), and also gave birth to Yahoo Buzz.

Both those services did or have some editorial control over submissions. Digg has repeatedly refused to exert any over its own site, preferring to hand the keys over to Diggers.

Therein lies the problem. Rose is lamenting that the site needs to move beyond geekdom and get “real world relevance.” The way Digg is currently set up, that’s just not going to happen. When your user base is generally the same subset of online users, they are going to probably like the same thing.

Stories of a particular type will always rise to the top, while stories that may have relevance to others stay buried. Digg’s challenge is to start mixing it up, and giving other types of stories more visibility.

But that’s not just going to happen. Digg users aren’t going to start digging stories that are anathemic to their interests. In some cases they may need to be force fed them, which it is apparent that the company has no intention of doing.

Personalization may work, and from the reporting I’m seeing of the conference that seems to be the route Digg wants to take. But it still does not solve the problem Digg currently has, which is news filtered through folks with roughly the same exact worldview.

That’s not going to be fixed by redesigning your website.

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