Digg is known as the ultimate social bookmarking website. The #1 when it comes to user-generated content. It has survived over the past couple of years past many imitation websites and through the clutter of other social networking outlets, but will it last forever? In my opinion, the popularity of Digg will die down significantly over the next year or two. Here is why...
1. The Power User - If you're active among the Digg community, you are well aware of Mr. Baby Man, the #1 Digger. Pretty much everything he submits makes the front page of Digg because he is the ultimate power user. There are a select few of these individuals who pretty much rule Digg's front page. I've read stats that have said that Digg's top 100 user's submissions are on the front page anywhere between 50% - 75% of any given time..this doesn't count stories that they are shouting that they have not submitted. The problem with this is that many individuals will submit the same story prior to the power user and will maybe get 2 Diggs while the power user can submit the same story an hour later and will make the front page with great ease. Digg's users have frequently expressed their frustration with this (I've noticed this more and more). If you look at other social bookmarking websites that are similar to Digg such as Reddit, you'll see that the best story makes the front page regardless of who submits it...which is the way it should be.
2. Frequent Banning - Digg has gotten extremely strict over the past year and has alienated a lot of their user base. I understand that every website has their TOS and if you don't play by the rules you'll get banned, but Digg has gotten way overboard. I got banned last month because there were two accounts running from the same computer. I have my own laptop, but when it was busted I started to sign on the desktop computer inside my house which is used by someone else frequently with a Digg account. Digg banned me because they claimed I was running multiple accounts on the same IP (even though we never have dugg each other's stories). After two days of arguing I got "unbanned", but couldn't get over the fact that something like this could get you banned. I know people who have been banned for Digging too many stories in a short period of time (despite the fact that Digg sends out a warning if you're doing this), people who have been banned for using scripts (even the ones that don't Digg other people's stories or do anything that would compromise the integrity of an account).
3. Better Websites Do Exist - One of the reasons why Digg is popular because it was really one of the first websites do incorporate the concept of having user's submit stories and other user's voting on these stories. This doesn't necessarily make it the best. While this is merely a matter of opinion, I personally find the content on Reddit and Plime to be a lot better. An argument can be said that Digg does have a lot more "top news stories" than Reddit and Plime which have more "offbeat content", but then all you have to do is go to a non-social media website such as CNN, CBS, or even Yahoo and you'll find more of these "top news stories" than you would on Digg (and if you want to find another social media website that focuses on top news stories that is always Yahoo! Buzz).
4. Banned Domain Names - If you submit a piece of content that gets buried by a whole bunch of Digg users, there is a good chance that the domain name will get banned by Digg permanently. The problem with this is that it should take more than one occurrence for this to occur. You might submit content that Digg users do not enjoy, but if this was the first time that there were a significant amount of buries related to the domain name, the website should not be banned. Digg is way too quick to ban a website. I do understand that the bury button includes the option of reporting a story as "spam" which usually is the contributor of a domain name being banned, but it should take more than one time for this to result in a ban. This is something else that has frustrated Digg users. If a user is submitting spam frequently ban the user, not the site.
5. Everything New has Been Negative - In order for a website to succeed it needs to grow with their user base. The only changes that Digg have made are negative i.e the message you get when Digging too many stories, how it is a helluva lot easier to get banned, etc. There are a couple of new featrues (such as showing Digg stories based on keywords and showing similar stories based on user's Digging behavior), but they are hardly innovative or even all that noticable where they'd draw a lot of attention. All of the other industry leaders have made significant changes to their website. Facebook went from being a social networking website just for college students to open to everybody. They have added fan pages, groups, and Facebook applications to their website among a dozen other new features. YouTube has included a "Statistics & Data" feature with all of their videos, runs a PPC program similar to Adwords, created their own analytics program (insight), and numerous of other features that listened to the demands of their user base. If Digg continues to stay the same, there will be no room for growth.