While overall it is a wholly much more pleasing experience to use, will it be enough to recapture some of its fading glory?
Invites began going out on the evening of June 30th to get in and experience what is being referred to as “Digg Alpha”. After a few hours of a total inability to log in, the site finally got to working, and we’ve got some screenshots to show you what you can expect. (click any of the images to see larger views)
First up you are greeted by numerous suggestions of people to follow on the site. They are broken down into categories so that you can skip people you would have zero interest in with ease.
After going through the recommendations you can enter your credentials for various sites, but once I entered my Twitter info I didn’t actually see anything happen. I’m not sure if there was an unmarked step, a bug (it is an “alpha” after all) or it did something in the background I was unaware of.
Now you’re in and … another bug. It told me that I had no news to look at because I needed to be following people to see news. Err … I’m following 253 people.
No matter, a couple clicks and everything seems to be working, and then you find this explanation of the new page layout. I really like the up front & center submission box, I don’t think it’s ever been easier to submit a new link. Just take a quick look and you will see the new page layout is pretty intuitive.
Speaking of the submit bar … wow is this thing fast. You enter the URL of the page you wish to submit and it populates what you see below at lightning speed. A lot of the submission work is now done for you. You can also quickly browse through the pictures in the little window to find one that you think suits the story better.
Once you’re into the news, this is where some of the biggest changes seem to be. If you’re in “My News”, you’ll see it will focus on what the people you follow are voting on, so you don’t see just the stories with the most Diggs, but instead a mixture, and which of your people voted on each.
If you wish to go the more traditional route, you can just go to Top News and see the most voted on stories for the entire site, but it still highlights which ones the people you are connected with voted on. You can also go into each category to see those top stories, and you can play with the time frame that is displayed to you.
Overall the site has tweaks just about everywhere you turn. The profiles have got minor updates, comment view on stories now show you the comments with the most positive votes in the top right corner and everything just seems to run faster.
The biggest turning point for the site seems to be that more “small stories” will get highlighted thanks to My News, which definitely answers one of the biggest complaints that has existed about the site. Too often you have just seen the same sites making it to the top over and over again, and now it feels like some of the smaller stories and sites that product them might have a better chance.
Will it bring Digg back to the relevance it once enjoyed? I think only time will tell that tale. I think Mr. Rose has made a lot of steps in the right direction with this new version, but I’m just not certain that it was enough.
What say you? Have you had a chance to try the new Digg yet? What did you think?