Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Digging Digg

O’Reilly Radar answered the critics on digg.com about “stealing” a CSS. This is a great Web 2.0 story for several reasons.

First, digg.com is a wonderful site where the community submits stories and decides which ones make it to the top of the home page. I’ve listened to their podcast on my Tivo a few times. It really is a interesting way to get the latest tech news and points out the power of social software in the web 2.0 world.

Second, I just started reading The Origin of Brands by Al & Laura Ries. (blog) They state that divergence is “the most powerful force in the world.” This is already happening with digg as the O’Reilly story shows with its link to pligg. TechCrunch pointed to a porno version the other day. Here’s a Linux version using the digg model. ituneslove diggs music. Look for many more. Diggs or pliggs will probably become a common feature of some community sites now that there is an open source version.

Third, any new technology “reverses” at some point according to McLuhan’s Laws of Media. For example, a car gets you there faster until there are so many that it reverses into traffic jams when you go nowhere. I think digg is at this point. It was hit by spammers and now the accusations of mob journalism. Maybe having an editor isn’t so bad? (Interestingly, the podcast is an editorial product.) Maybe memeorandum looks better with its robots and spiders? I expect both will find their place and that I’ll continue to enjoy digg.com and their podcast.

Fourth, there seems to be a change of attitude now about CSS. You’ll commonly read in computer books that you should “view source” of other web sites to “steal their code”. Why reinvent the wheel? People have avoided JavaScript code for this reason. However, this attitude may be changing. While accusing someone of stealing CSS has the ring of red/blue politics, this maybe a milestone in Web 2.0 integrity.