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Clckd: The Next Digg Killer? Exclusive Interview with Ryan Deal

We’re here with Ryan Deal, founder of the new social news site, Clckd. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Ryan. Tell everyone a bit about yourself.

Thanks Brian. I’m a long time Internet junkie. What else do you wanna know? Personal stuff? I love chai tea. I need to get more sleep.

Haha, I think we all need more sleep. Web 2.0 seems to have done away with time zones.


Tell us where you came up with the name.

Well, I wanted something short and related to sharing content. I thought that since clicking links is central to sharing content, I should try to find a name with the word “click” in it. Good domains, as I’m sure you know, can be hard to find, so I opted for an alternative spelling to the word “clicked.”

CLCKD is “clicked” without the vowels.

Yes indeed. Jason Calacanis just did a recent post about having the absolute best domain name possible for your startup. He was a big advocate of being a baller and going for top dollar single words, but I can definitely hear the direction you went with this. Plus it was probably a lot cheaper.

So Ryan, most people that will be reading this will probably be thinking something like “oh great, here’s another social site for me to keep up with. I already am on Digg, Stumble, Twitter, Facebook, Mixx, etc…why should I keep up with another one?”

That’s a good question. I have been a user of all of those platforms for quite a long time now, and while they can share good content, I’ve watched some of them, mainly Digg slowly decline over the years.
I am not trying to make another Digg, or another StumbleUpon. What I want to do is get back to the heart of sharing awesome content and I have some great features in place to help CLCKD become a place where users can do that without all that other stuff.

That’s an admirable goal. And it comes at an interesting time. Not sure you’ve seen but Yahoo Buzz just announced that they will be discontinuing the ability to vote and ranking aspects.

No doubt. People use these social sites in so many different ways. Hell, I’m sure there are millions of readers of Digg that have never even voted on a submission. With CLCKD, I’ve tried to give users lots of features that let them do whatever it is they would like to do with the content.

What kinds of features do you have planned?

Well if you look at the site, you’ll see some familiar ones, the ability to vote on content, commenting on submissions, etc. There are some other cool features like a whole Q&A section where users can ask and respond to questions, for example, “If you had to choose a candy to represent your sex life, what would it be?”

There’s also a leaderboard and a toolbar that lets you stumble through other awesome links, which you can hide if you don’t want to use it.

How about link shortening?

That’s coming in time. The links aren’t too long now, but of course, you can expect even shorter URLs in the near future.

Fair point. What kinds of plans do you have for monetization?

At this point, none. Of course that will have to come in time, but I feel that can be done in a pretty non-invasive way. The goal right now is to focus on content.

Cool – that is refreshing to hear, as some social networks we know *cough*cough* Digg *cough*cough* tend to be unresponsive to the communities that make them great.

How open will you be to user feedback?

Very open. Like I said, I’m trying to do something different here. We’ve all watched big companies make moves that are influenced by everything except the users in order to please stakeholders, etc.
I’m open to any feedback, in fact, when logged in, users can submit feedback directly from the box in the footer.

Great way to be Ryan. What do you think about the whole user submission vs publisher forms of submission?

If someone wants to read all the news from a certain publisher, they can add that site’s RSS feed to their feed reader or set that page as their home page.

Of course publishers benefit from using these social sharing sites, and that’s fine, but that’s not what the social sharing sites should be all about.

Cool. How about spammers and all that? Will you have systems and/or people in place to make sure that only good content is coming to the top?

Great question. There is no way to avoid spam these days, so I’m certain lots of people will submit links that have no business being on a site like CLCKD. For that reason CLCKD has an upcoming section where all links go until they are pulled for the front page. There are admins in place to make sure the things that make it to the front page deserve to be there. For example, no spam, no porn, no duplicates, etc.

Good stuff. How about those cool interactive badges like Digg, Reddit, Ybuzz, and SU have. Any plans to make them and do you think they are in fact effective for publishers?

Yep, those will be coming in time too. I want this to be packed with features while letting users use none of them or all of them.

Glad to hear it. Anything else you’d like users to know?

Really, I would say, sign up and check it out and let me know what you think. I’m excited about the project and think it can grow to be quite useful.

Also, I’ll be giving away a few awesome things (like an iPad) to coordinate with the launch – but you have to be signed up to win.

Excellent – keep us posted! Thanks so much for taking the time Ryan.

No problem. Thanks for chatting with me.

Follow Clckd on Twitter and check out their blog as well.


  1. Peter Chang

    I feel this is like the new-age version of Digg and Reddit designed for the Twitter crowd. Very concise, simple, and to the point without a lot of descriptions. It will be interesting to see this progress along with continuous development of platforms like Twitter.

  2. Sesalnik

    I hope the project will be examined as digg, twitter etc. Otherwise I like clckd, but for me the name is a little misguided.