Mayday! Lesson to Learn from the Digg Revolt
If you haven’t been to Digg today, you’ve missed a LOT! Basically the whole site has blown up in Kevin Rose’s face and it’s all due to a little tiny hex code. Just to catch you up on events, the hack was submitted to Digg, was removed from Digg, submitted again, removed again, users were banned, and all hell then broke loose. As I write this every single story on Digg’s home page is about the code or the revolt. So, other than sitting back and grabbing some popcorn to watch what happens next, what is there to do? Well, if you look carefully, you can find one very valuable lesson.
As many of you know, this site, SEO Refugee is in existence today because of a similar revolt at the formerly popular SEO Chat forum. A change was made, posts were made about it, posts were removed, posts were rewritten, bans started being handed out like candy and all hell broke loose. Sound familiar? The lesson in both cases is relatively simple: If your site was built by your users/members, it can be torn down by them as well. As Pops said in his 10 Lessons He’s Learned About Managing a Forum:
2. Your forum exists by the grace of others.
Value your members. No matter how much you have to offer and no matter how valuable the information you distribute, your forum canâ€™t exist without its members. Treat them well, donâ€™t exploit them, keep them informed and try not to surprise them.
Users are going to get out of line from time to time. That’s a given. Fights break out, people post things they shouldn’t and they get angry when they are called on it. The make or break point for your site, whether it’s a forum, a blog, or a social news site, is how you handle the controversies that erupt. Digg has been censoring their content since the site began and yet still portrayed themselves as a democracy. I’ve written about this issue several times and knew that eventually this issue would come back to bury Digg (pun intended). Had Digg been straight with their members from the beginning, and been honest while dealing with the issue that arose today, they wouldn’t be in the middle of one of the most epic member revolts in internet history.
So, while you’re free to enjoy the mayhem on someone else’s site, and believe me it has been and will be VERY entertaining, at least take away this one simple lesson:
Don’t mess with your members!
Skittz, I suspect you are overexaggerating things. Digg isn’t going down, but it just got another (albeit more noticeable) dent in its armor.
I agree that other social sites may want to learm from the post you cited and the current Digg situation, though. I don’t see why some refugee diggers don’t create a diggrefugee, too.
Actually, Digg did go down for a brief time just a few minutes ago. However, I agree, I don’t think Digg will die from this. Just like SEO Chat didn’t die. However, I don’t think Digg will ever be the same.
Also, the refugee-digg thing is actually in the works. Keep it under your hat for a while though. ;)
Hmm… DiggRefugee.. :D
Not quite kichus… and nothing’s written in stone yet so we’ll see.
However, this does prove my point a bit. If/when we have news, we will/would alert our forum members and blog readers first. Keeping everyone in the loop is a great way to build up some good faith and it also helps people adjust to the new ideas etc. We certainly don’t get it right every time but that’s one of the key principles here and I’d like to think we do a decent job of it.
Well, I wonder what if lawyers are going to begin sueing everyone on an international scale..
“However, with thousands of Internet users now impudently breaking the law, Mr. Sprigman said that the entertainment and technology industries would have no realistic way to pursue a legal remedy. â€œItâ€™s a gigantic can of worms theyâ€™ve opened, and now it will be awfully hard to do anything with lawsuits,â€ he said.”
*grins. Would it be possible?
Well, it’s been done before… just ask the grandma and the 8 year old sued for sharing songs.
Yup, these actions are really big and digg did not do the right thing in my eyes
I really hope Digg doesn’t go down…I need to be able to game someone for thousands of uniques…
Digg doesn’t seem to be suffering too bad although I think there have been some changes. GreyWolf wrote a very interesting article about what he’s witnessed lately.
I agree Digg wasn’t upfront with their users but this was bound to happen sooner or later regardless of what policies might of been in place. Digg will be judged by how they handle the crisis, move forward and operate in the future