A week and a half ago I sent a letter to Digg Headquarters addressed to Kevin Rose. The letter which I've posted here basically details how big of a fan I am, dating all the way back to the glorious Tech TV days.
The letter goes a little something like this:
Hi there Mr. Rose,
My name is The Prodigy. I am a huge fan of yours living in Toronto. I am a technology die hard since an early age, and can honestly source your history and work as the biggest source of my knowledge. I’m 17 years old and essentially grew up with Tech TV on my TV, and having recently given up on G4, the… Tech TV KILLER!!! Let me just preface this letter of congratulations and praise by saying although I am young, I was a hardcore Tech TV junkie through and through. My first experience with the station came with watching Chris Pirillo hosting “Call for Help”. I LOVED IT!!! Then I started watching The Screen Savers (When it was 1 ½ hours) along with “Tech Live”. Those were my shows and I watched them all religiously.
Initially, my only difficulty with the station was that it assumed that the viewers had in-depth knowledge of technology to a degree. Things like FAT32, UNIX, root, and terminal had no effect on me. It was interesting because every time a show would bring on some new, young co-hosts things had become more accessible. The highlight for me though was always you, and your “Dark Tipper” segments. My favorite one was when you and Patrick had rappelled from the ceiling of “The Screen Savers” set, showing off the coolest hacker gear, including the USB LAN Cards, and the IBM T40 notebook. Ahhh, the good old days.
It was these “good old days” that eventually led me to work at Apple’s first Canadian retail store (where I first met Amber Macarthur). After that one year stint, I had left to work at Carbon Computing, an authorized Mac reseller that strictly caters to video and audio professionals. The years of following Tech TV and your Revision 3 programming lent itself to my knowledge that I rely on every day at work, or in my conversations with all my tech-savvy friends.
Then after G4 bought our beloved station on May 27 last year, you disappeared! “Attack of the Show” went on to be G4’s cheap version of what you guys did with “The Screen Savers”… without you! I had no idea that you were behind Digg until a buddy of mine from The Apple Store (My old job) filled me in that you were behind it. To be honest, I found that out after they told me that they were at a Tech TV party in T.O. that you were at. I was so jealous!!! I was already using Digg at the time because I hated referring to my daily routine of seven tech sites just to get the latest news. When Diggnation went to video, as opposed to just audio for the podcasts, which was the ultimate nerd dream. The fact that we could see you guys every week, discussing all the latest news in front of your notebooks was just so cool.
Digg V.3 is totally amazing!!! The new categories and features are awesome!!! The site has just seemed to come alive even more as a community, which is great. I don’t actively promote stories to the front page, as everyone already promotes the things I like to the homepage but I totally agree with you with regards to Calacanis. In fact, he really should have a beer to calm down a bit. The notion of promoting certain users to paid positions within a community while seemingly displacing the rest of the community is totally insulting. The reason why Digg got where it has is because everyone feels like they are all equal within a community. Calacanis’ proposal is totally ludicrous and definitely widens the gap between the front-running Digg, and all its little clones. As such, I totally appreciate Leo Laporte’s weighing in on the topic. As a hero for tech enthusiasts everywhere it was paramount for him to give his opinion on the issue.
The Business Week cover was insane! It’s really great to see the mainstream world start to take significant notice of the work that innovators such as yourself seriously enough to promote it to a cover story. I know you didn’t expect that picture to ever make it to the cover but it was pretty awesome! The golf shirt, headphones, and the thumbs up… priceless!!! It really captured the enthusiasm and sense of youth that you’re bringing to the new online world as we move into this new direction on the internet. The new breed of Web 2.0 innovators is really amazing because content control is not in their realm. It is a completely diplomatic and free community. Digg’s approach is totally fresh and lends itself to more people because that installed base of “Digg-ers” is so broad. Articles will continually be current, and accurate. If not, then the community will weigh in to ensure that it is.
Digg has single-handedly re-affirmed the value in online communities. No question about it. People are starting to take notice, and are legitimately respecting that notion. When something like Digg, can gain international attention and the eye of big corporations and their misguided bosses (Calacanis anyone?!) you know you’ve done something right! Thank you for continuing on with the visions of the whole Tech/Geek community.
Thank you for interesting and informative tech programming NOT focused on games! Thank you for giving us a place to congregate and be a part of an online movement. And finally… Thank you for keeping your focus on the content and the community. When people put the $ signs before content, you turn into failing, fledgling Digg clone that becomes just way too bitter!!!
Keep on diggin',
You can check out the contents of the delivery at the bottom of the page.
That is SOOO cool!!! I have always viewed both Digg and Revision3 as some of the most innovative web startups in quite some time. Its really great to see that the figurehead of these organizations is so personable and pleasant to have a dialogue with.
Thanks Kevin!!! It really means a lot, and will never be forgotten.