“It’s Digg for Green.” When you first access hugg.com’s homepage, that’s the message that pops up by its logo. Unfortunately, the user generated database of green articles never caught on like Digg, and as of next Monday, November 17th, it will not be accepting new submissions. At the end of this year, Hugg.com will be closed for good.
[social_buttons]At the top of Hugg.com‘s homepage is a message that says “Please Read”:
On November 17th, 2008, Hugg will no longer accept new submissions or registrations. Hugg will remain publicly viewable until the end of the year, at which time Hugg.com will be closed. The Hugg.com domain will be directed towards a new feature on the TreeHugger forums where participants will be able to post and comment on interesting green links (coming soon). We welcome you to the thriving community at the TreeHugger forums and hope you’ll join us now to carry on the discussion. Go ahead and poke around on the forums – we think you’ll like it and enjoy conversing with such a diverse group of intelligent, passionate people!
We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the many Hugg users who have poured time and energy into providing the community with tons of great content. Unfortunately, due to increasing maintenance costs, we can no longer provide Hugg with the resources it needs to continue.
So what happened?
I have no insider information, no behind the scenes scoop. But I did a little searching, and it seems that the site which started out with great potential became a snooze fest. When the site underwent a redesign in 2007, users began to complain. The new design lost visual impact. Users found the organization of the site difficult to understand. Users began to drop off and the traffic that many people got from their submitted stories dropped off, too.
The lack of a search feature to find out if a story had already been submitted was also mentioned by several users. And my personal complaint about the site, often after taking the time to submit a story, it would be flagged as potential spam to be reviewed by someone on staff. Often it would take days before a completely legitimate story that had been flagged appeared. Sometimes it never did.
In other comments, I found that many people felt that after Discovery bought Treehugger (which is the parent of Hugg), Discovery let it flounder. They didn’t put any effort into caring for or improving the site. And now, they are closing it.
There are others that can take its place, though. Two other social networking sites MindBodyGreen and Care2 also accept user sumbitted green stories and allow users to rate them. Hopefully, these sites will learn from Hugg’s problems.