The site's notoriously finicky (and ridiculously valuable) top users--who have propelled the site to tens of millions of monthly visitors by culling interesting articles from around the Web--are incensed by a redesign that seems to give established publishers a leg up. So they're flooding the site with inane referrals to Digg's competitor, Reddit. (One recent submission: An article about Wikipedia time travel, which currently has more than 1,000 votes.)
The Digg Revolt, as it is being called, is stirring up lots of attention--HuffPo says the site is "under fire" and Digg founder Kevin Rose has responded. He's also been taking on his critics using his Twitter account.
Of course, this has happened before--and Digg has emerged from the previous controversies intact. In fact, user revolts happen all the time when companies rely on large communities of customers. (See Zuckerberg, Mark.)
This makes the current controversy worth watching as a case study in how to handle customer complaints in today's crazy media environment. So far I've been impressed with the way Rose has handled the critics. How do you rate it? What could Digg be doing differently?
Last updated: Aug 30, 2010
Senior contributing writer MAX CHAFKIN has profiled companies such as Yelp, Zappos, Twitter,
Threadless, and Tesla for the magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. @chafkin