Well it was bound to happen eventually – Vibe.pk is a local Digg clone that was created and (I assume) managed by Radical Solutions. Actually its just an installation of Pligg – an open-souce digg-style CMS. They didnt even change the UI, so I’m assuming the total cost of developing this is about 4-5 hours on a lazy sunday.
Development time doesnt make successful projects though – the real question is will it take off as a source of interesting niche news the way Digg has become?
My take – maybe. Digg is effective in much the same way as del.icio.us – its a social filtering service which uses its community to make sense out of the massive amounts of junk or noise on the web to identify really interesting or useful content (for the community). The digging effect stems from a social desire to say “OMG check that out!”
If you restrict a model like that to only a specific region, you’ve basically also reduced the amount of noise there is to filter. News media in PK is based on limited parameters, a limited set of press releases, a limited set of “important news” that happens on any particular day, so if I can get the same information from 10 different sources (e.g. some of the political stories currently up on the site) there’s no need or point really to look for that info on vibe.pk. Even if that story exists, there’s no social incentive to say “OMG!” because, well, everyone would probably know about it already.
Politics and current affairs, then, is definitely not, not, not the right content strategy to go with this.
Having said that, there are still bound to be interesting “news” stories for niche audiences that could be useful on vibe (provided people share those stories ofcourse) – news from within college campuses, e.g. (like Students’ Blogs), or from within the blogosphere; localized news (metro news e.g.) would also be interesting.
On the other side – a service like this would only be useful if the community adopts it – I dont think any amount of SEO would create a community of active diggers within the local netizens.