Changes and fixes coming to Digg's redesign

The new Digg is out for everyone, but a few things went awry or missing along the way. Founder Kevin Rose has come out with a laundry list of the problems, fixes.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
4 min read
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Responding to user feedback following social news site Digg.com's large-scale redesign earlier this week, founder and interim CEO Kevin Rose posted on his personal blog that numerous changes and high-level bug fixes are on the way.

During the move, a number of changes dramatically altered the way users now find stories, as well as where promoted stories end up being seen. And from the looks of things, it appears that many of these tweaks created bugs, or caused longtime users to scratch their heads. "Our top priority is to stabilize the site," Rose said. "Then we'll look at the data/feedback and make decisions on what to change going forward."

Based on Rose's post, here are some of the things that are being broken and what's being done to fix them:

What's being fixed
• Third-party Digging tools not being able to access the site or some of its basic features, which Rose says is a bug on Digg's end. The company gave publishers and sites plenty of heads up ahead of launch to get their sites ready, so this likely comes as good news for languishing apps and add-ons.

• A way for users to pick between My News and Top News as the default. Unregistered users see the top stories page every time they hit the home page, while registered users get defaulted to the new My News page. Digg is adding a way to make the Top Stories page the default, like it was before.

• User-favorites that did not make the transition are coming back in Digg's "saved stories" page.

• Some older stories have had Digg counts and user comments reset or adjusted. Rose said these are being fixed.

• Story categories and user RSS feeds are not working as they should, or in some cases--at all. This too is being fixed.

• Posts currently have no timestamp, meaning you cannot see when they were submitted.

What's coming back
• The upcoming section. This was a section of the site where newly submitted stories would show up so that other users could vote them up into popularity. In large part, the need for this was subdued with the idea that users could follow particular news outlets, and see newly posted stories from them without ever having to visit the upcoming seciton, or rely on the earlier version of the recommendation engine.

Rose says this section only pulled in 0.4 percent of the site's more than 200 million page views last month, which means that users were not culling through it nearly as much as they were visiting the story pages on items that had been promoted, or on the site's front page. Rose said that the resurrected version of this page will not quite be the same, consisting only of "upcoming popular" stories.

• Case sensitivity in user names is gone right now, but is coming back, which would be useful if yOuR nAmE loOkEd lIkE tHiS.

What's going away
• Digg user ranking by popularity. This was the part of the site that users see when they first sign into the new Digg, and shows you who's worth subscribing to in a closed directory. Rose says this will be opened up to all users, and will highlight power users worth following.

Digg's soon to be opened up user profile directory is one of the things being modified in the near future. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

• The tiny comment box. Digg's current comment box is only three lines tall, which arguably encourages people to keep it short and snappy. This is further complicated by users not being able to resize it within their Web browser. Rose said the company "will look into the resizing."

What's not changing
• The new color scheme. Rose said they'd think about changing it only if "something is unusable." Otherwise, it's the new look, and it's here to stay.

• Friends comments trumping those of other users. Previously, comments from friends would be highlighted in a different color, making them easier to spot. Now they'll sit smack dab on the top so you can see them before even delving into the community discussion. According to Rose, "this was by design."

• Yes, the "bury" button is gone, as is the "report" button. And neither is coming back. "By removing the bury button we have put a stop to the bury brigades," Rose said. In its place, Digg has the site's "hide" button pulling double duty as a way to call attention to a story that needs human moderation--something the report button had done before.

These are only a few changes on the way for Digg. The company is expected to announce its next CEO any day now. Recent rumors had pointed to the company soon finding a replacement for former CEO Jay Adelson, who stepped down back in April.