If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.
-posted by blue_beetle
The interesting inference is that in a customer-centric, for-profit site like Digg, content consumers are part of the product (if not the primary product) and not customers. At best, they are users relegated to second place behind those who pay the bills.
While I’m sure this approach makes sense in the eyes of the financial sheets, I wonder how much longevity this solution has. As a long time Digg user, I see that the new design is focused on someone else’s needs. Not liking that, I go elsewhere for my content aggregation/social news (reddit, MetaFilter, etc.). Similar examples of this business model (profiting by delivering users) are Google and Facebook. Both have user-centric designs. No one is wondering whether these two sites will make it.
An interesting corollary to blue_beetle’s theory is the converse. If you are paying for it, you are the customer and following the logic of customer-centric design, the site should be built around you, not around the product.
If you’re thinking about redesigning your site, think about who is paying for it, who’s using it and how to balance those two stakeholders for long-term viability.