Can anyone tell me why Digg matters?

Seriously though, I don't get it. Can you digg that?

Over the last few months I have migrated almost entirely to pure RSS feeds, primarily via Google Reader (I surrendered months ago to the borg) and find myself skimming a lot more without actually reading anything. Somehow I have been missing several feeds that I would normally visit, including BusinessWeek. So as I cruised through this AM I came across yet another article about Digg, the popular content sharing site. I have to ask if there is nothing left for the mainstream biz pubs to write about except Google, Apple, Facebook and whatever other Web 2.0 nonsense is hip that week.

I've had this discussion with Sarah Lacy a number of times about this media-driven drek, at which point she always reminds me that open source is boring enterprise software and no one wants to read about it. I get that part. I just don't see why Digg matters.

Lest this become a treatise on why Digg is is more folly than fact (easy--we are all morons and random clicks don't consistently correlate to real patterns) let me tell you a few articles that I found on the most popular list this morning.

The top story was from Dailykos.com with 3531 diggs about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The next one with 2311 diggs is about the Largest Diamond Found in Space followed by several other really random stories that you can see in the screenshot. Both entertaining but not remotely related or all that newsworthy. FSM (which I completely support) is an internet meme, which makes sense. Largest diamond? I guess it's relevant for the holiday season?

I found some real value in an interesting story called Protectionism and My Stuffy Nose on Mises.org which explains why Sudafed, my cold drug of choice doesn't work anymore. It appears to have much to do with bigPharma lobbying and politics. This story had 1802 diggs this AM.

So let me go out on a limb here and say what any reasonable person would strongly suspect. The reason you can't get Mucinex and Sudafed that work without jumping through hoops isn't really about stopping basement meth users. It is really about the racket going on in Washington in which the law is used to benefit influential producers in cahoots with the political class at the expense of less influential producers and the American people, who should have the freedom to choose.

Screenshot Digg.com Screenshot Digg.com
So I ask why in the world does Digg matter? I still don't get it. Sure it's mildly entertaining but is there any real substance here? Anyone?

Tags:
Software
About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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