How the new Digg digs up its top stories — without your help, thank you very much

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Trash (n): Discarded matter; refuse.

In our story, the word trash refers to two subjects: Digg.com itself, and the community of people who contributed to its rise and fall. The former was discarded, practically given away, to Betaworks over the summer. Six weeks later, the community was also dumped by the wayside when the new owners released their unique interpretation on social news.

Not surprisingly, Digg’s former power users are underwhelmed by Betaworks’ machination, peeved that identities crafted over the course of eight years vanished from the web. But Digg’s new landlords did more than abandon former tenants: They erected an experience that downplays the value of the digg. They replaced the often-abused button with a “thumbs up” icon that actually has little to do with the formula for determining featured content.

“Essentially, it’s an entirely new experience,” Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis told me. “This bears, to me, very…

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