Digg gets Dugg by Yahoo! and Dell

So what does it take to copy Digg?
Ability to submit story?Voting Buttons? Yellow, curved-corner? Pastel voting icons?
Ask folks at Yahoo and Dell – they will scream YES!

It’s not that these companies are the first ones to copy Digg, there are tons of Digg clones. But it’s stunning to see tech giants doing the same [after all, Y!/Dell guys are supposed to innovate!]

But Techcrunch justifies Y!’s copy/paste act

“I don’t have any problem with what Yahoo did. First, Yahoo credited Digg in a blog post announcing the new product. Second, the purpose of the site has nothing to do with finding and promoting news stories. Rather, they’re using the Digg-voting mechanism to power the Yahoo Suggestion Board where users can submit their comments to Yahoo on various products.”

And like me, if you think that the ‘voting mechanism’ is Digg’s brainchild, Jason Calacanis tells the truth [I don’t care how much of this is true].

“Kevin Rose did not create the concept of voting…Kevin Rose DID copy the idea for digg from our friend Josh at delicious.com and has been very public about that. [ Note: I sad copy, not “stole.]”..

So in short, Y!’s position is justified by Industry, but not by Diggination!

“Wow, ripping off Digg UI? How low can Yahoo and it’s employees get? Grow a back bone and design something original.”

Similarly, Dell has copied the Digg voting mechanism in it’s new site: DellIdeaStorm.

Reminds me of one of the prediction of 2007 — New web apps over the existing web2.0 platform; and looks like the prediction is coming true.

Though Y! and Dell copied the Voting mechanism, their end results are quite different.
Y! – is using the platform to power the suggestion board, tips on Y! products, while
Dell is using the platform for brainstorming ideas.

As one of the user [or a Y! employee?] comments points out:

“Yahoo has used a similar layout as Digg because it’s what works and everyone is used to it. The Digg design is ingrained in our heads, we are comfortable with it. We like the large icon on the left hand side, one click voting, all of that. Yahoo is doing what’s best for their users by taking what works, what everyone is used to, and applying it to something new.
It wouldn’t be possible to invent something entirely new; they are using the Digg model because there is nothing better.”

While I completely agree with all this BS, I have just one qn. for Y! and Dell guys – Have you stopped innovating? Is *short-cut-approach*, the best one? Would you allow somebody to copy your product design?

So Mr. Y! and Dell – next time you see a clone of your product, don’t panic. Somebody is just “inspired” by your design!!

Related: See what it takes to make an Indian Digg tick.

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