In a pre-Facebook and pre-Twitter world there were few options for news. Unless you wanted to get the standard AP-wire retreads, you were at a loss for local stories, interesting insights and off-the-beaten-path reporting.

Digg came along and changed all of that. In a new digital world Digg set out to become the first news site dedicated to the wisdom of the crowd. Diggers, those who spend time reading and rating news stories on Digg.com, have transformed the site into a viable community. In some instances this power has translated to newer Diggers being shut out of appearing on the front page. Power Diggers were springing up making their impact felt all over the site. Digg’s front page began to look like a members-only affair, which is something that goes against what the company stands for.

However, Digg management has responded. A new updated look has surfaced, V4. It represents a critical change to the way Digg views itself as a company and how they want to change the way its users view the experience. The upgrade includes a visual overhaul as the look of that website that is geared toward web 2.0 standards. The power of the cloud is quite apparent when you go to Digg.com now. Crowdsourcing is still at the heart of this bustling network which hopes to entrench itself as an alternative to Facebook.

Some critics have come to question key changes to the Digg user experience, especially tools that allowed for Power Diggers to rate their performance. By removing certain metrics and focusing on the user experience as related to their social networks, Digg is moving onto the next phase of the Internet.

Will Digg be known as an also ran, standing in the virtual dust beside monolithic duds like MySpace and Orkut? Digg plans on being around to serve those who are still dedicated to the ideals behind curatorship and freedom of expression.