Like everyone else, Digg has a serious case of Twitter envy. And they’re doing something about it.
In an interview last month Digg founder Kevin Rose told me that the company was working on an overhaul of the Digg service, calling it a “completely new direction” and referring to the new Digg search as an indication of what direction they’re going in. He didn’t (and still won’t) give many details, except to say that Digg needs to to “a living and breathing site” and “a little bit more real-time in nature” (“real-time” is secret code for Twitter, and has been used so much lately that people are mocking it).
Earlier in the interview Rose talked about wanting more user participation on the site, with top stories getting 50,000 or more votes (most top stories get a few thousand now). The new product is designed to encourage more user engagement.
We’ve taken the relevant clips from the original interview below. Whatever it is, it’s coming sometime soon.
Rose: What we’re working on now is what I would consider to be the biggest overhaul to how everything works behind the scenes, and that’s no joke. Like we…
Arrington: Front end and back end rewrite?
Rose: Completely new directions for us that you will look at and I guarantee you would be like that’s a ballsy move. Like it’s really, we’re evolving and we’ve got some really exciting things that we believe are going to take us to that turn.
Arrington: What’s the timing? Is that this year?
Rose: I mean, I’m not going to give out hard dates, but it’s some time in the next six months.
Arrington: What might that look like? Like, what are we talking about?
Rose: Well, we’re talking about a revamp of the site.
Arrington: Like a logo change?
Rose: Yeah, a logo change is going to get us there. We’re talking about some lens flares on the logo…
Arrington: Well, what are you going to do so that somebody’s going to, like, “Hey, here’s the stories.” And they’re saying, “Digg it!” I mean that’s kind of it. Right? It’s like a one trick pony with bells and whistles attached. I mean, I agree that most of your changes are bells and whistles. So, what is it that you’re going to do that doesn’t kill your core idea that’s a whole new thing?
Rose: I can’t go into that stuff right now.
[later in interview...]
Rose: I will say this. I don’t want to get into specific details about the product, but I believe that it’s time for Digg to get a little bit more real-time in nature. And we need to be a living and breathing site. And you know, that’s an exciting direction for us. I think that’s part of the reason why we rolled out a pretty awesome search. It was kind of us experimenting with some of that.