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Digg Loses Its Techie Luster

The masses arrived for Offbeat news, and the techs departed

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The social media site boomed to popularity with its early focus on technology, an area that has become less important to Digg’s masters as they seek a broader audience.

Digg came as a revelation to those of us worked in the trenches of IT departments when it debuted. Overnight, our regular source of breaking tech news, Slashdot, looked old, tired, and out of step.

Contrast that with the intriguing assessment of Digg published at ReadWriteWeb. The money quote: “We have new data that shows that the number of frontpage tech stories is halving every year on digg.”

That’s happening by design. Although your friendly neighborhood techie may be a godsend when it comes to figuring out when your system needs an updated driver, he or she isn’t a profitable demographic for advertisers.

“Currently the most popular category is World & Business, which accounts for just over 22% of the total. The Offbeat category is now around the same as Tech, with 18-19%,” Richard McManus said in the report.

We like ArsTechnica, Gizmodo, and Engadget as much as the next geek. The ReadWriteWeb story shows how, even as the frequency of their front page appearances diminish on Digg, they still dominate the tech stories that do make Digg’s widely-read front page.

Fewer tech stories on Digg probably means fewer people using that category. McManus suggested they may be going to other sites like Reddit or Mixx; we’ll give ReadBurner a mention here.

We think techies took advantage of the available tools, like freely available feed readers, sprinkled in alerts on relevant topics courtesy of sites like Google or Yahoo, and built their own news destinations. That would be a true tech solution, building one to suit a need.

Digg Loses Its Techie Luster
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    This was going on for awhile and it’s really unfortunate!