Digg: A community built on open source software

A snippet from the interview with Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson of Digg.com:

MadPenguin: So here you are, challenging media giants, they’re calling you up as soon as two months or so after your birthday, and what role does open source and the open Internet play in your success?

KR: From a cost point of view, they played a huge role. Community played a huge role. Open source software gave us an extremely low barrier to entry. I didn’t have to go out and license any of expensive technologies. I didn’t have the money for that. We’re talking generic boxes. We use Penguin Computing now, but back then, it was self-built, home brew boxes running Debian Linux, Apache, MySQL, etc. The LAMP architecture is our base. It was at EV1Servers.net, and they provide you with vanilla boxes for 100 bucks or so per month. That’s all you need to get things off the ground.

JA: The open Internet was also an enabling technology, because by the time that Digg started, the Internet mass audience had become more accustomed to Web 2.0 kinds of technologies. You know, things like RSS, for example, and the notion of the Internet being a two-directional medium. They “got” it that Rather than just going to a website and reading information, they were participating in that data. So Digg was following in the footsteps of Napster, KazAa, Orkut, MySpace, and so forth who had taught that Internet audience to participate. By the time that Digg started, that barrier to entry has been overcome. We had an audience that was ready for this experience. So from an infrastructure point of view, we could afford to do it, and from an audience standpoint, they were ready for it because of these revolutions that had already happened out on the Internet.

This is a community where the users get to decide which stories are important and relevant enough to make front page news, and it is built on open source software. Thanks Einfeldt for a great interview!

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