Friday, July 20, 2007

We Should Not Bite the Hand that Diggs

I've been noticing that Digg has been getting a substantial amount of cr*p about things they've done on and with the site recently. Nothing new or exceptional, as every popular Web outfit gets the community treatment once in a while, but now that the dust settled a bit, I just wanted to express the following thoughts.

I had the pleasure to meet with some of the Digg crew in San Francisco last month, coincidentally hours before they released their new commenting system. What I saw was a group of people who, on top of being passionate about their respective vocations, actually believe in the product they bring us. This is a relatively rare and precious thing, and I think that as a community, we should nurture it as much as we can.

I'm definitely not saying we should just fall into blind fanboy-ism and idolize their every actions, but I do think that there's a [not so] fine line between constructive criticism, which is usually welcomed by any self-respecting professional, and plain old bashing, which can be the most depressing aspect of public releases. And it's not like they're not listening (1, 2).

Yes, I do think that a balance between surprise releases and usability testing could gain to be developed. And yes, I do understand that sudden changes to something you enjoy can be offsetting for users. But I also know that they're cultivating a tight-group/almost-family-like atmosphere amongst their ranks, and that the last thing I want is for the people behind the code to be nudged anywhere close to just being yet another bunch of salary makers, in yet another faceless corporation.

So I say, keep on guys, and thanks for your efforts. I'll happily keep on digging and watching the site evolve.

And no, I'm not going to submit my own post to Digg. ;)

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