…if you look at the most successful sites which link out — Fark, Reddit, Techmeme, Memeorandum, Drudge (and Drudge above all) — they’re all incredibly ugly. And I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s actually as much a feature as it is a bug. The ugly is good, because it drives you away. And the reason you go to that website is to be driven away.”
With that in mind, “we’re aggressively anti-pageview,” Salmon says. “We don’t want people to stay on that site. We just want people to go away.”
“And then,” McCarthy says, “to come back.”
The dominant models of search and social for discovery seem to point to the need for syndication above the need for subscription to branded channels. The syndication model in turn requires additional focus on relevance. This, together with the new needs for social and design, again points to the need for media companies to refocus their efforts on their core competency; journalism.
This also points to the need for new platforms that allow these media companies to syndicate their content. Proliferation of individual apps or channels is not the new model. Google/Yahoo news isn’t the new model - they’ve been surpassed by Facebook already. Community sites like Digg and Reddit are not even in the running.
The good news for media is that when they embraces the new model, I think they will make far more money than they ever have in the past due to the combination of broader distribution and better targeting leading to larger ad revenues.
Both of these sites are being replaced by Reddit, a four-year-old news forum with far more educated, better-behaved users than either, but with a culture that somehow rides the middle between Digg’s slavery to the mainstream tastes of America’s teen males and 4chan’s obsession with inscrutable in-jokes and anti-humor.
Reddit got almost 300 million pageviews in July, compared to the 200 million Digg views in July that Digg founder Kevin Rose reported on his blog. So says an infographic posted on Reddit by Alexis Ohanian, one of the site’s founders, who also asks why the media continually call Reddit “tiny” and “dwarfed” by Digg. What’s more, traffic at Reddit, according to their Google Analytics, is up 24% in the last two months.