Are you following the Digg saga?

I consider myself a student of the online community space — the sociology that drives it all is fascinating. The fact that people’s reactions to an unlimited scope of topics are globally and immediately available for easy, open discussion is an incredible thing to witness, let alone participate in.

This week’s hot topic is how Digg reacted to a post that included an encryption key that enables one to play HD-DVD movies in Linux. I haven’t figured out why the key can’t be modified and therefore rendered useless by the intellectual property owner, but that’s beside the point.

Digg initially removed the post and the blogosphere retaliated. Seriously retaliated. As a result, far more attention has been drawn to the encryption key and it is now mass distributed — with/without Digg.

I like Digg’s transparency in their initial reaction and follow-up reaction. Check out Kevin Rose’s (Digg Founder and Chief Architect) post:

“…after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.”

I suspect most people want to see Digg still standing when the dust settles, but it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out. The lesson (which seems to be a recurring theme in the community space) is clear…

…don’t underestimate the power of the decentralized online community.

  1. #1 by Paul Diamond on May 3, 2007 - 3:33 pm

    I think this story is about more than just DIGG and DRM – see my blog , and the SF Chronicle story on it.

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