In the wake of Digg’s v.4 switch (and subsequent user revolt), there’s a new player in the social bookmarking space. Old Dogg, and creator Phil Mitchell, look to take over where Digg left off. With a Digg v.3 feel, the less than 2 month old site hopes to cash in on the mass exodus of Digg users. But what would it take for Old Dogg to truly compete with the big players?
Good start so far…
In the online world, timing is everything. So not only did Old Dogg benefit from the timely launch shortly after the Digg v.4 switch; but another social bookmarking site, Propeller, recently shut down for good, leaving even more users looking for a place to discover and share content online.
In the first month of its launch, Old Dogg boasted 27,000 votes and 1,500 comment in just 25 days. An impressive start for a brand new site, but that’s still only a small fraction of the stats that Digg (even in v.4) and Reddit are getting.
A good start is just that: a start. So if Old Dogg wants to really compete in this space, they’ll need to continue to grow or quickly face falling out of validity. And there’s a number of hurdles that need to be leapt along the way.
What it will take to beat Digg at it’s own game?
Old Dogg needs to figure out a way to get out from under the shadows of Digg. Stealing users from the bookmarking giant is great, and will continue to be a vital part of the site’s growth, but it should be pointed out that Digg v.3 had its problems too. Traffic was down & users had already started to leave. A laundry list of problems were to blame including bury brigades, duplicate submissions, and the imbalance of front page content from power users. If Old Dogg wants to become the next Digg, they’re going to have to show that they’re somehow doing these things better.
At some point, Old Dogg will need to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. v.4 was supposed to accomplish this for Digg, but the changes were just too drastic for the long-standing community. And while there are plenty of lessons to be learned, there, Old Dogg needs to be careful not to become “just another social bookmarking site”. Right now, there’s little to discern itself from, say: Mixx, (the late) propeller, and Digg v.3.
Finally, Old Dogg needs to listen to the community and continue to make positive adjustments along its growth cycle in order to keep users from going elsewhere, including back to Digg. Social bookmarking sites are about letting the community decide what content is featured. So when the community says something isn’t working, it’s time to fix it. The better they can do this, the stronger the community will become.
Is Old Dogg really the new Digg?
So is Old Dogg the new Digg? Not quite. From the perspective of a content producer, it’s not even close (in terms of traffic referrals). For the casual user, it has a similar feel with a much smaller user base and a slightly un-finished look. And from an avid bookmarking enthusiast (power user) it’s as close as there is at this point.
Can Old Dogg become the new Digg? Anything is possible… but they still have a long way to go.