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Digg founder dismisses Web 2.0 'me tooism'

Digg - yes, tag - no

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Digg founder Kevin Rose today urged Web 2.0 wannabes to avoid the temptation of adding "me too" features to their sites.

Rose, whose news-ranking service is home to more than half a million registered users, told delegates at The Future of Web Apps Summit in San Francisco, that they should think before adding the increasingly ubiquitous tags to content, while reiterating his opposition to paying readers to rank stories.

He also outlined upcoming changes at Digg, which should improve search, usability and integration with external sites. Sometime during the next two months, Digg will open up its APIs so people can Digg stories from within their own sites.

Fresh from his recent front-cover appearance on BusinessWeek, Rose said Digg would not use tags - for now.

"I see so many sites that just add features for adding features, without thinking about why they are adding them," he said, citing the example of a bank employee he had met on one conference panel who was mulling over tagging his bank's site.

"People would say you [Digg] need to add tags - it doesn't make sense for our site. Part of the reason Digg works is you can drive people into a given topic. The moment you apply tags, you split the content up into strings that are too spaced out and difficult to dig into."

In response to questions over the introduction of abuse controls on Digg - after it emerged a hardcore of frequent contributors had been helping to rig Diggs rankings - Rose said it was important to keep access equal and level. This, naturally, ruled out paying Diggers. "It's important to us there's no outside motivations for submitting content to the site," he said. "We don't want to discourage the people who aren't getting paid from submitting quality content."

Digg is starting to face competition from other sites, such as AOL's NetScape. Jason Calcanis, the former WebLogs CEO-turned-AOL blog chief, is offering $1,000 a month for people's "social bookmarking" rights in his blog, a fact that - combined with Rose's appearance in BusinessWeek - fueled a case of blogosphere handbags at dawn. ®

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