Digg laying off more employees, trying to find themselves

Digg, a popular news ranking website, is running into financial problems once again. Less than six months after laying off 10% of their workforce, they are now giving pink slips to another 37% of their employees; which amounts to 25 employees based on CNET’s report.

In an email from Williams, Digg's CEO, the company must continue to slash expenses in order to achieve profitability:

“Unfortunately, to reach our goals, we have to take some difficult steps. The fact is our business has a burn rate that is too high. We must significantly cut our expenses to achieve profitability in 2011. We’ve considered all of the possible options for reduction, from salaries to fixed costs. The result is that, in addition to lowering many of our operational costs, I’ve made the decision to downsize our staff from 67 to 42 people.”

The company has recently experienced a major shakeup in their executive team, with former Amazon executive Matt Williams taking over as CEO and current CRO Chas Edwards resigning to work for start-up Pixazza. Digg is also attempting to “refocus” their product to be a more mainstream site. In order to try getting there they have recently released “version 4” of the site, but it has been met with many bugs and issues.

In 2006, Digg was one of the top-25 most frequented websites and turned down offers of over $100 million in order to remain independent. Since then the company has floundered, facing competition from companies like Reddit.com (owned by Wired Digital). While they have good employees, it appears that the company has been mismanaged for many years and this will be another attempt to try and right the ship.

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nub said,
No, it was definitely digg v4 that killed digg.
It was the far left posts that sent me away. I go to these sites for some political dialog, but I like to see it at least attempt to be balanced and kept to a minimum. Also, before "v4," Digg frequently forgot my login info and forced me to log in again, thus forcing me to be slammed with all of the political stuff (I used to login to hide all politically tagged posts [and a lot still got through because of intentional mistags]) until I did. I gave up and stopped going there.

I never log in anymore, and I still check back occasionally, but I am always disappointed. Looking at the current top 10, four are liberal stories (the top one is flat out wrong if you watch the video) and of those four, two are about the same thing. None are conservative. The total "Diggs" are much lower than they used to be too. About 380 for the top post (amusingly, a liberal post).

ccoltmanm said,
Problem is, they turned very political at a bad time. A lot of the far left posts make people turn away and thus leaving the small minority of faithful. Look at their site views, downward trend.

Doesn't seem to hurt Reddit. But of course, only a small minority cares for "far left posts" (whatever that means exactly), that must be it....

ccoltmanm said,
Problem is, they turned very political at a bad time. A lot of the far left posts make people turn away and thus leaving the small minority of faithful. Look at their site views, downward trend.

Oh sure, Digg was a real hotbed of left-wing radicalism All those communists calling for workers to rise up and take control of the measn of production really disrupted the interminable Apple vs Microsoft flaming.

Anyway, as I recall it was the right-wing Digg Patriots who were trying to game Digg

ccoltmanm said,
Problem is, they turned very political at a bad time. A lot of the far left posts make people turn away and thus leaving the small minority of faithful. Look at their site views, downward trend.

Wow.. if you thought digg was far left, we're screwed! Compared to every other civilized country in the world the "far left" of digg would have been left of center everywhere else.

You guys are scary!

ccoltmanm said,
Problem is, they turned very political at a bad time. A lot of the far left posts make people turn away and thus leaving the small minority of faithful. Look at their site views, downward trend.

They've always been left, just like all similar communities. 2010 has been politically quiet compared to what could have driven you away in previous years (like a general election)

I stopped reading because of their leftist slant. And we're not talking "a little left" or "left of center", there were people on digg calling for the destruction of the US constitution in favor of communism.

Haven't on it for years, but remember few years back, top news/stories used to get 3k - 4k diggs, and websites relied on it to get hits, but now top it digg is only 3 - 4 hundreds ? that sucks...

But these kind of .com company one they are are in the next they are out, look at myspace.... One day so will facebook...

maxsquared said,
Haven't on it for years, but remember few years back, top news/stories used to get 3k - 4k diggs, and websites relied on it to get hits, but now top it digg is only 3 - 4 hundreds ? that sucks...

But these kind of .com company one they are are in the next they are out, look at myspace.... One day so will facebook...

Would be a bit harder with facebook due to the fact that everything is being integrated with it. Look at WP7, built around facebook.

Tech Star said,

Would be a bit harder with facebook due to the fact that everything is being integrated with it. Look at WP7, built around facebook.

I completely disagree - Facebook like so many things on the internet will go down at some point (I'm not saying today or soon but eventually). I can't understand why people don't look into the past to see that everything (especially on the internet) is a cycle.

You said you didn't think that FB would a bit harder because everything its getting integrated with FB....but there was a time that everything was AOL (or doesnt anyone remember). Every TV commercial at the time "Find us online - AOL Keyword .........". We used to have to pay for our internet time by the hour or have a fixed amount of bandwidth we could use, then it became all you can eat, now guess what....its becoming fixed again.....there are so many other examples but no one seems to care to look at the past ....


ManOfMystery said,
Digg is dead, end of story. With it Diggnation will go and all the other time-wasting crap that follows Kevin Rose.

I love diggnation. I ride my exercise bike for 20 mins a day to it. I watch that and HD nation. That pretty much lasts me Monday - Thursday.

I've had a Digg account but I just got tired of it. Plus I was really hating those fanboys. Much worse on Digg. Besides, if there's anything so interesting out on the web, chances I'll see it on one of the weblogs I see, via social feeds from Twitter, Windows Live, or Facebook, or on TV. Don't need Digg to find this stuff.

Third round of layoffs in less than two years, that's gotta hurt. I'm wondering if it'd be worth going back to V3 and have V4 as an open, ongoing beta, until they come up with a decent product.

How many people does it take to run a site like that? sheesh lay off 25 people? I worked for companies that did 100x (health and insurance providers) the stuff they do and they only had 100 people.... and we had websites that where more functional then digg that we wrote ourself

I used to be a fan of Digg. It was getting worse and I knew it, but v4 really sealed the deal. I've been a redditor ever since

Was a fan of Digg however due to recent business decisions by Digg there digging there own grave (no pun intended) led me to Reddit. No reason to look back.

They should've sold out to the Cheezburger network when they had the chance, I love the thought of the Cheezburger network becoming a major internet player.

Here, let me fix the first sentence in your story...

"Digg, a FORMER popular news ranking website"

Digg has been dead for a long time, it's just no one has the guts to pull the plug.
Their ranking systems were easy to get around for the cheaters, but, what really topped it for
me was their abject hatred of any negative article leading up to the 2008 election of President Obama. They would flame, delete, dump anything remotely negative, and green light anything
negative about McCain or anything positive about Obama.
It use to be a great place to get some quick insight on breaking tech news, politics, and off beat
news, but, after the 08 election, I left.

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