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I got the strangest feeling of deja vu this morning. When I clicked over to Digg to see if Kevin Rose had sold out yet, I was greeted by an "Out of Service" message — in the middle of the day. The site is back up, but it reminded me of a similar outage in January: Digg went offline in the middle of the day while "making some changes." During the last outage, we thought the site was unintentionally taken offline. Generally downtimes are scheduled for out of the way hours like 3 A.M. on a Sunday — not 9 A.M. in the middle of the week. After Digg came back online in January, there were significant changes made to the algorithm that decides which stories make it to the front page, angering a few of Digg's higher profile users. What's the deal this time? Our theories and a poll after the jump.

Three possibilities:

  • Incompetence — the site is actually down.
  • Stupidity and laziness — reputable companies don't take their entire site down in the middle of the day without a damn good reason. Those reasons include going out of business, major security failures and essential must-fix-right-this-second bug fixes. Maybe Digg's engineers don't want to work at 3 A.M., but that's what they get paid for. It's generally a good idea to not inconvenience your customers. Intentionally taking your site down for a mere software update at peak traffic time? Dumb.
  • Brilliance — Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson know that the tech press will write about it, or at least notice that Digg is down. I've gotten three IMs about it already this morning. It could be a stunt to generate publicity, Steve Jobs style. Every Tuesday, Apple fanboys gather around to see if the site gets taken offline — it's a sign that new products are coming imminently.

What's your guess?

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