Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why Google should not acquire Digg

TechCrunch is reporting that Google is looking into acquiring Digg. I have no idea one way or another, but I can imagine that Google is considering the possibilities. It has to, as do all companies.

However, I hope Google doesn’t fall into the Digg trap. Here’s why: The raucous nature of its commenters. Sorry folks, but Digg has fostered a community of commenters that’s just wrong. Let someone else play in the mud, but my recommendation is for Google to stay above and out of it.

Now, I realize things can be tamed. Microsoft has done a pretty good job with Hotmail. It’s nothing like it initially was back in the early days. Anyone doing ecommerce back when Hotmail started knows what I’m talking about.

My concern here is that Google is already playing on the edge with commenters on YouTube. It’s getting pretty trashy there. So adding Digg might not be too much of big deal to them. But it would be to me. And I think it will eventually be to advertisers.

I’ll put it this way: Along with Google’s “do no evil” mantra, I think Google ought to add a “be responsible” clause too.

By the way, same advice to Microsoft. Let someone else pick it up. I don’t care how big it gets. It’s not worth it. It’s not what part of being a responsible community member.