I’m a big fan of Digg and have been for a while. Of all the websites out there they are probably the highest mentioned one on this site over the past six months. During that time there is always speculation that someone is close to buying them up and in all honesty I came to a realization today that nobody should buy Digg.
I don’t mean that companies shouldn’t look at a Digg acquisition, but take a step back and look at everything that Digg stands for and ask yourself if you can really see it prospering under corporate rule. There is enough speculation about how Fox News portrays Obama or if Microsoft is cheating by paying people to edit their Wikipedia articles and it is easy to imagine those powers using Digg to their advantage.
Who is to say that Yahoo wouldn’t buy Digg and start to plant articles that shine them a in a brighter light than Google? We already know that the ones who write the history books are the ones that control past events, but do we need a corporation to control what the web is going to talk about in the next year? It isn’t scary to think what can be done with Digg under the wrong hands, because if shady stuff starts to overshadow the good stuff people will leave and go elsewhere, but I’m sure not too many people want to see that happen.
It seems that everyone’s exit is to get bought up by Google or Yahoo, but where does that leave the independent social web that we have been so hard at work trying to build? Nobody is saying we should turn away millions of dollars, but in our celebration of Web 2.0 acquisitions we are failing to see that we are losing the principles of what made Web 2.0 so great in the first place: openess, freedom and us.