Digg Makes Community Less Relevant, Removes Icons From Submissions

Posted Oct 8, 2009

I’m not going to lie, I like the submissions that make it to the homepage of Digg.com. I visit their homepage at least once per day. The news is often times entertaining and relevant in every day news. Many people have built a brand around the stories that they’ve submitted on Digg.

For example, the icon of power Digg user Mr. Baby Man (Andrew Sorcini) built a brand around his Digg icon that features a stick figuring digging with a construction sign. Muhammad Saleem, another power Digg user built a brand around his black spade icon. Many people even decorate their icons depending on what holiday is coming up. If Christmas time is near, people will stick a Santa hat on their icon.

Now when a story is submitted, the user’s icon will not show up anymore. There is still a hyperlink that links to the user’s profile that submitted the story, but I don’t think that is fair for people that have built a brand for their icon. In a way, it makes the Digg community seem less relevant.

Why did Digg do it? Apparently they did it to save costs. Digg engineer John Quinn stated “Today, we?re also making some changes to reduce page payloads and minimize HTTP requests with subtle UI changes. By removing the 16px user icon from stories on the home page and other story lists, we?re reducing HTTP requests to Digg for a warm cache load by around 75%.”

What are your thoughts on the changes? Perhaps you prefer to see the icons? Or do you just not care at all?