Note that betaworks purchased them in July 2012 for $500K, relaunched in 6 weeks with a heralded new design and deleted the old site in its entirety, resulting in down traffic every month. It has less than 1/5 traffic today than it did on purchase date, a date when zero employees ran the site.
This is a cautionary tale.
A tale regarding the power of inventory and mistakenly dismissing that power. Latent inventory. Inventory that has been linked to and indexed hundreds of millions of times, washed down the toilet. Inventory with a history of social investment, curation, and ranking via a branded metric.
Say what you want about the real-time web, but the slow web, the enduring permanence of historical intent via linkages, reigns supreme in a world that never forgets.
Learn from this. Squatter’s rights matters.
Commodity Real Estate » An Also-Ran Brand Name.
I don’t think this is a fair assessment of Digg. Yes, it’s one view but is Compete tracking DAU or MAU on their iOS (iPhone + iPad) app? I don’t believe so. I’d imagine that this audience graph looks quite different (in a much more positive way, I’d argue) on mobile than desktop.
It wasn’t a commentary on audience assessment, but OK, I’ll bite.
First off, note that Quantcast supports my desktop/mobile web Digg thesis directionally. Admittedly, that’s not your point, but I wanted to support mine further which we’ll get to.
Fortunately for iOS, we don’t have to “believe” or “imagine” we had data, we can just check App Annie’s Rank History for both iPhone and iPad (registration for the site is free, it’s a great resource).
Top Overall Rank is a fairly strong signal as to sales volume which follows a typical power law (top ranked items sell oodles, whereas the long tail is predictable). The fact that the Digg App for iPhone or iPad never broke the Top 250 Overall Apps should give anyone who has launched an iOS app ample insight into the available installed inventory from which to calculate Digg’s actual DAU/MAU (which is, of course, private data).
I’ll leave further benchmarking to back-out Digg’s installed apps as a exercise for the reader (and if you’re launching apps, you should make this type of calculation a habit).
So yes, I could be wrong regarding overall engagement, maybe even egregiously so, where every Digg user has rotated from the mobile/desktop browser Digg and installed the iPhone/iPad Digg app and invited tons of Facebook friends and Twitter followers along for the party. Imagine that.
However, it’s a moot point, as it still doesn’t address the core of my thesis, whereby deleting mobile/desktop browser addressable and indexable inventory (the entirety of old Digg) directly correlates to reduced mobile/desktop browser engagement.
Let’s say that the new Digg strategy is all about iOS apps. If they had kept those gazillion pages of old Digg inventory, they could have added an Apple Smart Banner to every one of those old dusty pages resulting in prime ad inventory to convert users at the highest point of interest. Feel free to put a price tag on that lost promotion.
I’m not beating up on Digg, I’m just illuminating a teachable moment. I wish them all the luck (selfishly, because I use Digg).
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