Digg v1 Preview — Betaworks Rethinks Digg.com

A few weeks ago, WSJ reported that Digg.com was acquired by betaworks for $500,000. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because betaworks is the company behind bitly — the hugely popular link shortening and bookmarking bitmarking service and News.me — a simple service that delivers top stories from your Facebook and Twitter feed to your inbox.

The small team at betaworks then announced that it would completely scrap everything Digg had turned into in the last few years and use their experience from working on News.me to completely “rethink digg” from scratch, which will be (re)launched on August 1st.

On August 1, after an adrenaline and caffeine-fueled six weeks, we’re rolling out a new v1. With this launch, we’re taking the first step towards (re)making Digg the best place to find, read and share the most interesting and talked about stories on the Internet […]

That’s pretty impressive. Not only are they attempting to revive a once-popular community powered news website, they’re trying to put a working version out live in just six weeks. When I read this, I was pretty intrigued. I was a regular, addicted user on Digg before they ruined it with their “Diggbar” and the v4 redesign. So I have been patiently waiting to see what these guys have been cooking in their New York offices.

Today, the team has offered a preview of v1 of Digg that they’ve been working on.

The final version is close to complete, and when you visit Digg.com later this week, you’ll find a beautiful, image-friendly, and ad-free experience. We don’t think of Digg.com as a traditional destination because the website is only one piece of the overall Digg experience and because we aren’t interested in capturing pageviews. So above all v1 will be about simplicity. We are doing away with “Newsrooms,” we are killing the “Newsbar” (aka “Diggbar”), and we are reverting “Newswire” back to its original name, Upcoming. Digg v1 pivots around three views: Top Stories, Popular and Upcoming.

Looking at this wireframe, I think this swims very close to my liking. I like the general layout and the importance to images in in the articles. Moreover, I like what they’re doing with the Digg score.

Today, we vote on Facebook with every share and on Twitter with every tweet, and conversations take place across loads of different sites, apps, and networks. So how do we surface “what the Internet is talking about,” when the Internet is talking beyond the walls of Digg.com? We tear down the walls. When we launch v1, users will continue to be able to digg stories, but Digg scores will also take into account Facebook shares and tweets. Roll over any Digg score to see the breakdown. We’re excited to see how this new data can help us identify the best stories on the web.

Color me thoroughly impressed. The launch is just two days away and I’m already excited to check it out. They have a lot more photos of early mockups and explain their approach in the blog post, so go ahead and read that.