We’ve written about the Pligg software before which allows you to create a Digg-like site in no time at all. I am really amazed at how many sites have popped-up using that software and weeks later they begin wondering why they aren’t receiving the same traffic as Digg. Sure they have the same features, but maybe the exact look is what they need? The template provided with the Pligg doesn’t actually give your site the visual appearance that is close to Digg’s, and if you want that you’ll have to look somewhere else…
One developer decided to take things a bit further and make the closest Digg clone that I have ever seen, complete with movie thumbnails. It is called SuperGu and it is so similar that when I saw TechCrunch reporting on it yesterday I had a hunch that the site wouldn’t be up much longer. Once the Digg crowd found out about it someone hacked their homepage [pic] but luckily I snapped a screenshot of their demo before the doors were closed. The one below is of their “Digg Spy” clone that monitors recent “Diggs”, submissions, buries, etc… all on one page:
Their forum still seems to be alive and kicking, but the rest of the site isn’t very functional. I have mirrored the download on my MediaFire account for anyone looking to give it a shot. I recommend that you go for something a little more unique if you really want to be successful, but the choice is ultimately yours. Sites like Dealspl.us have only become popular because they introduce the Digg concept with a unique look and cover a topic that is beyond the focus of Digg.
I think it is pretty safe to say that any new startups who branch off of the Digg concept probably won’t be successful. Just look at Netscape, while they do seem to be getting some involvement from the community I find that the remarkable growth Digg has experienced will not rub off on them.
I actually see this being the same problem that Microsoft has. They take the time and invest in research to see what interface works best for Windows/Office just to have other companies go and clone them in virtually no time at all. Before Microsoft opened up the Office 2007 UI for use in other applications, there were already competing products that offered amazing duplicates, such as SandRibbon. This video demonstration of their product is almost sickening how close it is to Office 2007, but at the time Microsoft had not decided whether the interface should be available to everyone. SandRibbon was developed in hopes of capitalizing off of Microsoft’s time and research which is essentially the same goal for these Digg clones. Will this ever stop? I doubt it, and as products/websites grow more and more popular you are only going to see more and more people try to duplicate their work to make a profit.