CowboyCaleb was quick enough to take this screenshot of Shoutwire, a new democratic content aggregator which works very much like Digg. As you can see from the posts, it was recently attacked by rabid Digg fans who call this a blatant ripoff.
I seriously love and even depend on Digg as I find it more evolved than Slashdot for tech news. However, I don’t think this reflects well on the Digg community. Rather than to trash, spam or vandalize a competiting service, we should realize that its really about having a choice. Both services are free, although they do depend on users to work for their own content by voting on the “interestingness” of topics posted (term coined by Flickr).
As I mentioned on CowboyCaleb’s post, Shoutwire isn’t exactly a complete clone of Digg. Digg is mostly for us geeks since it’s all tech-related content, while Shoutwire is about everything under the sun so it’s really targeted at the typical netizens. As expected, the tech savvy demographic of Digg users tends to give Digg more edge when it comes to posting the latest and greatest finds. Shoutwire still needs time to build a strong user base which explains why their content currently consists of older news.
It was only a matter of time before more Digg clones start to emerge, simply because the system appeals for its democratic approach and ease of use. It is not without flaws though as open-access systems such as Wikipedia and even Digg have been prone to vandelism and spamming. Still, it wouldn’t be difficult to predict the emergence of specialized “Diggs” focusing on different apects of the blogosphere, such as nationality (e.g. Singapore, China) or heck, by academic interests (e.g. journal articles from each discipline).