I’m somewhat mystified by their announcement that they’re putting more emphasis on the whole "hey, let’s allow people to be friends and build a community on our site" functionality.

The nut grafs from today’s announcement, sent out to all Digg registrants:

Lots of new changes coming to Digg! We’re excited to introduce you to
the new Digg Profiles. With over fifty new features, we’ve completely
revamped our profiles from the ground up – making it easy for you to
share your favorite Digg stories with friends. If you’d like to see
them in action, visit Digg or get a walk through of some of the new
features in this video.

Because Digg enables people to share information with one
another, the policies for how you use Digg and how we treat your
privacy on Digg are very important to us. As part of this release, we
have updated our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which we encourage you to check out. Some highlights to note:

  • Digg will notify you via email when certain activities happen, such
    as when someone adds you as a friend or a story you submit becomes
    popular. You can control what emails you want to receive in the Email Settings section of your Digg User Profile.
  • You can easily find your friends’ Profiles on Digg by searching for
    them by their email address. If you don’t want to enable others to
    search for your Digg Profile by your email address, or if you want to
    manage what personal information to display in your Digg Profile, you
    can reflect this in your Privacy Settings.

I don’t get it. What direction is Digg trying to move in? Are the numbers trending that badly? Why are they trying to ape Facebook et al., when what they are is a site where people go to find out the coolest things that other people have discovered on the net, to stay abreast of news, and to find where the funniest new vids are posted. 

The attraction here is that you get the opinions and discoveries of a whole massive audience of people that YOU DON’T KNOW.  I already know what it is that my friends find interesting – they send me the links every goodam day (aside: stop with the LOLCats already; I’ve seen them, they were worth a chuckle, now let’s move on folks).  What I want is to find out what a whole bunch of people that I have no connection to are thinking.  It’s the only way to spread out from beyond the too-cozy sinecure of my news feeds to find out if there are any big trends that I am missing.

Maybe their shareholders have been doing the "wah-wah" baby act, pointing at the absurd valuations of MySpace etc., and wanting some of that mojo. 

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