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Digg – Future or Feature?

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No matter how you slice it, getting to a million registered users is a pretty impressive achievement for Digg, a service that Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson and a couple of others started as a lark after TechTV shut down and Kevin was looking for something to do. It may be true that the million number has a lot of holes in it, as some of the commenters over at TechCrunch have pointed out — multiple accounts, etc. — but still impressive nonetheless.

 A year ago, Digg had about 200,000 registered users, which means the user base has increased five-fold since then. Some of that could be a result of Digg’s branching out into topics other than just technology, but I still get the impression that the vast majority of what gets submitted to Digg — and certainly what makes it to the front page — is technology-related (I haven’t seen any data, that’s just a hunch). And Pete Cashmore at Mashable takes issue with the one million number too, in a post entitled “Kevin Rose Fan Club Signs Up One Millionth Member.” Louis Gray has some other numbers from other Web 2.0-type services, including StumbleUpon and delicious, both of which have over a million registered users.

The question in my mind is: how much bigger can Digg possibly grow? Could it get to two million users? Maybe. StumbleUpon.com is getting close to that. Could it get to five million or 10 million? I’m not so sure — especially if it continues to be mainly focused on technology, and the user community continues to be dominated by a particular type of fanboy/nerd/hoodlum personality the site has become notorious for fostering.

I think Digg-style features make sense for all kinds of sites, including things like Dell’s IdeaStorm. But whether the site itself is destined to get much bigger remains an open question. What do you think?

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