New Owners Take Digg Back To The Drawing Board, Relaunch Scheduled For August 1

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After Betaworks acquired Digg earlier this month, there was a lot of speculation about what the company planned to do with the service. Today, Betaworks’ New York-based News.me team, which is now in charge of Digg, posted its first update. The plan, according to this update, is to launch a new Digg v1 on top of a new infrastructure and fresh code base by August 1. With this launch, the team says, it’s “taking the first step towards (re)making Digg the best place to find, read and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet.”

The new team argues that it plans to take the lessons it learned from building the personalized news service News.me to Digg. The new site won’t just be a “reskinned News.me” either. Just like News.me, though, the new Digg will focus delivering personalized news based on what your friends are sharing. The new owners are open about the fact that figuring out what exactly to do with the site “will take some time,” though. To get some feedback from the community, the new Digg team posted this survey.

Here are the principles that are guiding the developers according to today’s update:

  • We make it easy to find, read, and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet.
  • The experience must be fast and thin. Let users go, and they will come back to you. We optimize for return visits, not pageviews per visit.
  • Build an experience that is native to each device: smart phone, inbox, Web page. Stories must find the user, wherever they are.
  • Users must be able to share where they and their friends already are — on networks like Facebook, Twitter and email.

Monetization, it seems, is not on the developers’ radar quite yet.

Betaworks and the News.me team are clearly interested in rebuilding Digg and the community that once made it the darling of the Web 2.0 boom. For now, though, it still remains to be seen what this new Digg will look like. Today’s update is more of a mission statement and low on details about the features we can expect from the new Digg (though chances are the developers are still trying to figure this out, too).

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