Revision3′s PR firm is urging me to write about the upcoming Diggnation episode being filmed in at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with Kevin Rose and Ashton Kutcher. And I aim to please. But what I can’t figure out is, how do projects with Ashton Kutcher like this and the disastrous 24HoursAtSundance earlier this year help Digg find relevance in today’s world?
Sure, Kevin gets to hang out with the Hollywood crowd and become BFF with Ashton. And yes, I’m somewhat interested in hearing all about “Ashton Kutcher’s Web 2.0 Strategy,” as pitched to me in the email (in the same way that I can’t not look at accidents as I drive by). But none of the story ideas pitched to us (Ashton and Kevin: Why Traditional Hollywood cares about Unconventional Silicon Valley, How mainstream consumer products are merging with new media, Why Ashton thought it was important, in fact, critical to reach Diggnation’s audience), along with “exclusive access” to Kevin and Ashton, really interest me. What I really want to know is this:
Why is Kevin Rose screwing around in Las Vegas with a movie star when a fricking URL redirect service is preparing to eat their lunch?
Digg isn’t the shiny new startup that it once was. Twitter has almost twice the audience that Digg has (45 million v. 24 million worldwide uniques in June according to Comscore). As recently as March Twitter was still smaller than Digg. Now, it’s not even close.
Digg’s product needs serious attention from Kevin. The recent DiggBar changes that enraged users caught Kevin off guard because he was on vacation in China and didn’t know what was happening. He needs to pay attention. Or else relinquish his control of the Digg product to someone else who’ll pay attention.
The next six months are critical for Digg. They are rolling out a new real time product to try to compete with Bit.ly and Twitter. It seems to me that Digg’s investors would be happier if he were working on that, instead of partying in Vegas with the guy from Dude, Where’s My Car?
That being said, I still can’t wait to hear Kutcher’s Web 2.0 strategy and his advice on “merging the worlds of mainstream entertainment and new mediums like Internet Television.”
Update: Kevin Rose response in comments below:
Mike, I set aside two days a month to shoot episodes of diggnation (this has been the routine for the last 4yrs), and we shoot several live shows per year. Without a doubt the podcast has proven to be a great tool to spread the word.
Sorry about the strange pitch from the PR agency.