So then: Back to Digg. The fact that the network chose to confound expectations through the timing of its launch is a small thing but a good thing, a signal that the new-again network has surprise — and, with it, delight — on its mind. And yet the confound-expectations approach also signals the end of Digg’s beta phase, the end of the time when Digg can, with full impunity, surprise us with something. The more established the new Digg becomes, the less it will be able to delight us with newness itself. And the more it’ll have to learn the lesson that all successful social networks learn eventually: On their platforms, the best sources of delight are users themselves.
Much like Ms. Garber, just the other evening, I found myself thrilled to stumble upon the relaunched Digg, ahead of schedule. Sporting a minimalist design, an outset desire to undercut spam and the gaming of the system, and deep-seated integration of Twitter and Facebook, Betaworks has clearly done a very good job in under six weeks.
Although, as Garber writes, the staying power of this new Digg has yet to be seen, I tend to think the service is off to an affable, interesting, and compelling start. Delighting users with an early start and utterly wiping away the negative tendencies of its predecesor, this new Digg is projecting a thoroughly positive message — something that’s difficult to achieve in the increasingly bloated market of social networks.
I’ll be following along with very sincere interest in the coming weeks.