It seems as if Digg might just be serious about bringing a Google Reader replacement to market following Google’s Spring Cleaning announcement last month. Or at least they want to hear how you use RSS.
Of course the resulting turmoil and exodus of users worked out well for some popular alternatives to the dying RSS service at Google and they are ramping up and dealing with the new constituents courtesy of Google.
However, a dark horse that I think no one expected came out of left field and announced their plans to save the day by building a service to replace the soon to be defunct Google Reader. That dark horse was Digg.
Now anyone who has been around the internet for more than a few days knows that Digg was the site to catch the most popular stories of the day and if your site ever got Digged then you better have some server resources ready to go. The traffic could crush a site in a heartbeat.
Now Digg as a story consolidation and discovery site has not gone away. In fact, they have a very nice Metrofied/Modern site that displays their content for users to peruse and continue to Digg the stories they like to determine what is popular and of course it is all connected with social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
Here is what the Digg homepage looks like these days.
Back to the Digg RSS reader. A week ago Digg updated everyone on where they stand and discussed the reaction they received on their original post announcing their plans to build a reader replacement.
According to that post over 800 comments were made on their initial announcement and they in turn distilled that down to four key points:
- Keep it simple, stupid*
- Make it fast (like, really fast)
- Synchronize across devices
- Make it easy to import from existing Google Reader accounts
Now those are pretty good basics and are a possible starting point but Digg also needs to know how you use reader and RSS feeds in general so today they sent out a survey request to their Reader Mailing List subscribers to find out those things.
The short three page, 16 question survey wants to know things about your RSS usage such as:
- number of feeds
- number of folders used for organizing your feeds
- how often you browse your feeds
- keyboard shortcuts
- starring behavior
- what apps or sites you use/have used to read your feeds
It certainly should provide them with a good deal of data on how people used Google Reader and RSS feeds in general.
You do not have to be on their Digg Reader mailing list to participate either – the survey is available for anyone at http://blog.digg.com/survey
Hurry though – the clock is ticking!
As of this post of course.