Can You Digg It?

Betaworks Team Announces Ambitious Goal: Rebuild Digg From the Ground Up. In Six Weeks.

v1 rolls out August 1st.
www rethinkdigg Betaworks Team Announces Ambitious Goal: Rebuild Digg From the Ground Up. In Six Weeks.

(Photo: Rethink Digg)

On an aptly named new website called Rethink Digg, the Betaworks and News.me teams proposed a rather ambitious plan today: completely rebuild the ghost town-like social news aggregator–which saw many users decamp for Reddit–from the ground up. Oh, and they’re going to do it in six weeks.

“On August 1, after an adrenaline and caffeine-fueled six weeks, we’re rolling out a new v1,” starts a post on the site. “With this launch, we’re taking the first step towards (re)making Digg the best place to find, read and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet.”

Frankly, we’re more inspired by the first graf of that post than we are by anything we’ve seen come out of Digg in the last five years.

Startup incubator Betaworks acquired Digg just eight days ago. At the time, Betaworks CEO John Borthwick told Betabeat, “We are reverting digg to a startup, expect more things like paperboy.”

Digg will be rebuilt by the team at News.me, a Betaworks startup that delivers a daily digest of the news stories tailored to your interests. According to the post, Digg and News.me will eventually be rolled into the same product, and you can expect personalization similar to what News.me offers from Digg in the upcoming months. This matches with an account from a Betabeat source, who told us last week that “News.me will be folded into Digg, but not sure what that timeline looks like or if that’s been absolutely decided.”

The New York-based team plans to adhere to four core concepts while working towards their August 1st launch date, which has a countdown displayed in the right-hand corner of the website:

  1. We make it easy to find, read, and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet.
  2. The experience must be fast and thin. Let users go, and they will come back to you. We optimize for return visits, not pageviews per visit.
  3. Build an experience that is native to each device: smart phone, inbox, Web page. Stories must find the user, wherever they are.
  4. Users must be able to share where they and their friends already are — on networks like Facebook, Twitter and email.

The good news is that nothing can really be worse than the old Digg, so the expectations are set pretty low. Plus, we’re guessing that bringing transparency to the process will endear a lot of ex-Digg users–and current Redditors–to the new team.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com