The cognoscenti known as x-Diggers are populating faster than bunnies on a hot summer day. With the blogosphere cyberventilating that Digg has added its last proverbial nail, and rumors that Kevin Rose is "burned out" and potentially jumping ship, was it any wonder that some young-upstart social bookmarking services would spring up? And Old Dogg is one that's showing the world you don't need millions in VC money to make it happen.
Phil MitchellWhile breaking all the rules, under the auspices of the UK's social media marketer Phil Mitchell (aka @Phil3ev on Twitter) Old Dogg was able to launch within 24 hours to go live on August 26th. As an avid Digger who's dissatisfied with the news-sharing site's latest iteration, the 27-yr old Mitchell was encouraged by others to build an alternative 'mousetrap' based on his coding experience.
Within less than one month, the site was reported to have clocked over 27,000 votes and 1500 comments - and as no surprise, the top users on Old Dogg are not only X-Diggers but also users from other platforms such as Mixx and Redditt. And with Propeller officially closing down, Mitchell thinks he has arrived on the scene at just the right time.
In an interview conducted with Mitchell, he told me his site "aims to be more of an open community that will need little moderation as that defeats the point of a democratic news site." In particular, he feels that a lot of the issues amongst dissatisfied Digg users pertained to the "banning of stories, without any feedback."
Since Old Dogg has had zero funding, "there are no debts that need to be covered by profits," says Mitchell. "This means Old Dogg can concentrate on being a good site without worrying about how it is going to cover funding," he adds.
For those that do not know of social news sites (aka social bookmarking), it's a source for users to submit their favorite links. They can then comment, share and vote on all of the users links. The most popular links are then published to the front page and are promoted to the entire community. Usually when a story "pops" on the front page it goes viral and attracts tens of thousands of readers to a particular news site.
"Old Dogg TV" is an adjunct to the site that provides exposure for video stories - so, in addition to article submissions and links, Old Dogg presents uploaded news videos such as this feature story that reports on "Why Our Schools Suck, The Movie"
Old Dogg TV
According to Mitchell, "the TV feature is going to branch out into different categories and cover all front page stories soon, including instructional videos as to how to use the site's features." The site's TV department will be recruiting new presenters for the different shows that will be highlighted in 'The Run Down.' "'Old Dogg City' will be a longer show covering all types of stories on the site," adds Mitchell.
As far as a feature that publishers of news sites might be interested in, Mitchell noted that any Web site can add an Old Dogg VOTE Button widget by embedding code found here - and indicates that the VOTE count feature will be added soon. Users can also share on Twitter and Facebook. This video highlights some of these features.
When questioned as to social bookmarking still being viable in the social media space that now offers up real-time news via Twitter and Facebook, Mitchell feels that Old Dogg and other news sites are needed more now than ever before. "The reason I say this is because if you look at a site like Old Dogg and see it competing with Facebook or Twitter then it is a no brainer that Old Dogg will fail."
However, if Twitter and Facebook are looked at as the unfiltered firehose of news and information, news services such as Old Dogg becomes vital in syphoning off the "gems from the junk." In that respect, Old Dogg is perfectly positioned alongside and in collaboration with the world's top social networks.
Hats off to @Phil3ev in pulling off an alternative that's taken an "old dog" like Digg years to figure out unsuccessfully.
For other posts as to why Digg is slowly fading from the digital landscape, please check out.