It’s been 112 days since the Digg meltdown. Contrary to what many had predicted, the social news site seems to be back to normal. Not much has been said about the pending lawsuit(s). Digg ringleader Kevin Rose seems unphased. His new start-up Pownce seems to occupy a considerable chunk of time. My conspiracy side tells me that Pownce is an insurance policy should the Digg fiasco take a turn for the worst. The clever bastard has a back-up plan…
So really, what has happened to Digg since the user backlash? Nothing. Simple as that. Ok, sure, the blogosphere went nuts for a couple days, but everything returned back to normal pretty quick.
What has the Digg kerfuffle taught us about social media?
- The viral component of social media that induces explosive growth can work just as effectively in an opposing manner. In other words, the very mechanism that creates community can just as easily destroy it.
- Don’t mess with your users. Seriously. Even a hint of dishonesty or deceit will likely result in detrimental consequences.
- Be quick to respond. Should an unfortunate event unfold, provide prompt communication to mitigate user anxiety and explain the situation.
This was truly the first time we witnessed the collapse of social media. It finally *broke*. Much has been said about the benefits of social media, but little has been mentioned about its potential flaws. I’m not a critic of social media, but rather a unbiased observer. The spontaneous, uncontrollable nature of this beast may never be tamed, but it can be studied and understood. It is my hope that this will help prevent similar catastrophes in the future.