Digg Buries Old Site, Breaks New Ground with Personalization

One size does not fit all for Digg, anymore. After rising to prominence as a billboard to see what had caught the eye of the masses on any given day, Digg will now undergo a radical overhaul to make it more personalized, and tied in with other social networking sites.

Digg CEO Jay Adelson took the stage at Austin’s SXSW Festival on Sunday to announce the new changes, which he said were five years in the making. “Every single thing has changed,” Adelson told Wired. “The entire website has been rewritten.”

Moving away from what is the most universally popular at any given moment, the new Digg will attempt to match hot topics with your specific interests. And it will do it automatically. Rather than asking you to fill out a survey or select areas of interest, Digg will tap into your Facebook and Twitter accounts to see what content is popular among friends. The desired result: the most relevant content to your tastes.

The new Digg system will also implement an autosubmission system, which should boost the number of daily submissions from 20,000 to millions, according to Adelson. Publishers will also be able to feed Digg an automated stream of content, users will also be able to submit sites without logging in, and the rigid old categorization system will disappear in favor of a simple tag-based system.

As drastic as the changes will be for users, it will also affect publishers, who may see the huge spikes of traffic associated with front-page Digg hits disappear, as the site’s users fracture according to their interests and promote different pages. Adelson hopes the new system will give small- and medium-sized publishers a better shot at drawing eyes from Digg, and promote a smoother, more predictable influx of traffic, rather than server-crushing hordes.

Digg plans to spend several months still tweaking the new system before rolling out for all to use. Curious fans can visit the new Digg landing page to sign up for alpha testing.

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