Oh, to be Kevin Rose. The founder of Digg and several other “important” Internet companies has a problem on his hands.
Kevin is a smart guy, and—now into his thirties—no longer running on pure hubris. So I’m encouraged by his acknowledgment that Digg, one of the hottest companies on the Internet about 18 months ago, is about to undergo a major business change.
Here’s the question: When yesterday’s hot new property is today’s also-ran, is business change happening too fast?
Say the words ” social networking ” and even people who aren’t familiar with the phrase have a pretty good chance of mentioning Facebook and Twitter in response. But how many would name Digg? The news aggregation and recommendation service is very much a social networking site, and with our ever-expanding hunger for news so much in evidence it seem Digg is a better place for most of us to spend our time than on Facebook reading Uncle Joe’s latest musings on nothing or on Twitter reading Guy Kawasaki’s words on how brilliant Guy Kawasaki is. But it isn’t working out that way.
So kudos to Kevin Rose for seeing the business change writing on the wall. I wish him luck (although I’m guessing he’s already lost this war).
Now jump in a slightly different direction: five journalists are about to do the reality-TV thing in France, where their task will be to report on the news based only on information they gather on Facebook and Twitter.
I don’t want my news based only on what’s available on social networking sites. No matter how good these five journalists are at mining the social networking big two, not being allowed to also look elsewhere renders suspect the news they report.
Wasn’t it just yesterday I told you about The New York Times’ plans to start charging for their web site? Business Change is a tough sport. Find the balance between reactive and proactive, and keep watching for the next wave . . .