Digg Layoffs Sad

I use Digg almost every day and find it to be a wonderful service that keeps me informed and helps me run my company more effectively. So I read with concern an article by Ed Silverstein on TMCnet which explains the company’s need to lay off 25 of its 67 employees.

After all, a company with 67 people and an Alexa ranking of about 127 putting it in the top 127 of all websites in the world and selling advertising with so much traffic should be a profitable endeavor.

Let’s look at some of the sites with worse rankings to get an idea of the traffic neighborhood Digg lives in:


Alexa Rank

The Weather Channel




The Huffington Post


Bank of America


It is obvious the company faces stiff competition from Twitter, Facebook and Google but still, as a pioneer it seems sad the service hasn’t fared better. Although layoffs are always unfortunate, the silver lining is many members of the Digg team are in demand and are landing on their feet elsewhere.

In closing, perhaps the best explanation for what is going on can be gleaned from the end of an article on CNET by Caroline McCarthy:

at this point few can deny that the company was badly mismanaged over the years, and that one attempt after another has been unable to get it back on its feet.

I just checked out the site again with fresh eyes focused on monetization and noticed the ads aren’t targeted at all. In fact, every ad at the moment is from IBM – in every category from sports to business. With the incredible ability to target ads nowadays why wouldn’t Digg be working with Bing and Google to target ads based on headlines or keywords? Another idea is to use contextual ads which show up as highlighted text words which generate revenue when they are moused over or clicked on.

Seems like either of these ideas could boost revenue substantially without the need for further layoffs.

I hope they take these ideas and I wish the remaining Digg team good luck.

See Details about the company’s future from Matt Williams of Digg.

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