Archive for digg
A lot of new people starting out on Digg.com have some of the same preconceived notions coming into the site – as those of us who have been on the site for a while did when we started. While there is an inevitable learning curve with any social media site while one learns the ropes, if you are new to Digg specifically here are common pitfalls frequently experienced by newer users.
1) Digg is a democracy: in point of fact there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on with regards to upcoming stories making the front page of Digg. The algorithms of Digg are designed to enable newer users and new sites to frontpage more easily. However, the flipside is: new users on and sites submitted to Digg are watched more closely as possible spam. Further, there are even “secret editors” (Digg employees) that make final decisions on some content and who might choose to promote something (or not) for unknown reasons.
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There has been a lot of discussion recently about changes to Digg’s algorithm. While these changes have been subtle and complex, one noticable difference is the difficulty veteran users are having getting stories to the front page. Now, when I was new to Digg I was frustrated to see how many submissions by the so-called ‘top Digg users’ made the front page while newer users had to struggle to get enough votes. I’ve since become a more experienced Digg user and changed my mind about a number of things related to the site.
Still, today, I see the bigger picture and the algorithmic changes aren’t going to do what Digg wants – they aren’t going to give the newer or less frequent Digg users more of a chance, and here are some of the reasons why:
1) Veteran users get a lot of stories to the front page with good reason: they are trusted by others to submit top content from around the internet on a variety of subjects. This trust is built up over time. It is only natural that users who submit and participate more will have higher quality submissions worthy of the front page.
2) Spammers can easily fill the void when veteran Digger submissions can no longer rise to the top. In fact, they can do so with much less effort since their submissions require fewer votes to succeed.
3) With blocks to top Diggers they are forced to result to the same tactics spammers use: mass shouting, begging for Diggs, submitting only the craziest and most offbeat content. This simultaneously lowers the bar on quality content while also forcing quality users to work harder and arguably less ethically to get good content to the front page of Digg.
At the end of the day, we have seen the introduction of shouts and algorithm changes that have resulted in more and more poor content reaching the front page of Digg. Worse yet, quality submitters like CosmikDebris (who specializes in scientific and space-related links) suffer from low frontpage ratios because their content – while very interesting, newsworthy and educational simply isn’t sensational enough to compete with shout-spammers who focus primarily on offbeat news. This isn’t about top Diggers having their egos bruised, it is about people who invest time and effort to bring good content to all Digg users having their hands tied and about the mainstream everyday Digg reader seeing worse and worse stories on the front page.
There are of course other issues at hand right now and many of them are longstanding. The infamous autobury list remains in full effect and Digg’s creators remain in full denial despite the overwhelming evidence (it kind of reminds me of creationists denying fossils). Top users still remain banned for unknown reasons. Many other users have simply left Digg because of all of the uproar. Digg’s Alexa stats are suffering and frankly if they don’t work out a serious overhaul soon they will be vulnerable when the Next Big Thing comes along.
For those of you have haven’t heard, someone just came up with something called Digpicz. What is this, you ask? Well, it’s an elegantly designed, simple website that displays newly popular Digg submissions related to images. What makes this so neat? Well, Diggers (as evidenced by how fast Digpicz hit the Digg front page!) have been wanting an image section for a while. Now they have it! Anyway, this isn’t new news anymore, but you should check out the site of the Digpicz creator who is currently working on an even more amazing pics aggregator!
I was just looking on Digg.com for, well, interesting stuff, news, pics, the usual, and I couldn’t believe how many iPhone-related stories were on the front page. First of all, there were, at the time, 5 iPhone stories in a row that had just hit the front page. Five? I thought (perhaps incorrectly) that Digg had some kind of system for keeping similar stories or stories from the same category from all front-paging at once.
Then I noticed that 6 of the 10 hottest stories on all of Digg were related to the iPhone. Is this really necessary? Isn’t there some Apple blog or something where people who actually care can go read about their precious iPhones? I mean sure, it’s an interesting device, and I’m game to hear updates about it occassionally even if I can’t afford one. Still, I don’t need to see it plastered all over one of the social media sites I frequent. /rant
So some of you might have noticed I’ve been fairly involved with Digg.com recently, and a surprising number of my recent submissions have hit the front page. Here is a run-down of these recent top hits that span a big spectrum in terms of topics. Each has had between 35K and 70K visitors. Enjoy!
The first of these was fairly contentious (and perhaps poorly phrased), and was buried right upon hitting the front page. It concerned a Digg feature that would help both Diggers and site owners, but the headline was phrased in such a way that Diggers thought it was an attack on Digg. Oh well!
The next post did extremely well, and concerned unusually legal street art – something entertaining and rather broadly interesting and appealing. An apparently misleading article (which I didn’t know at the time) about iPhones wearing out in a few months made number three. A nice post on website design simplicity unfortunatly crashed the target site. People did, in fact, rally behind my call-to-action to save a cool website from a negative change.
Surpringly (to me at least) a fairly entertaining picture collection of tree porn was buried shortly after becoming popular. A nice abandonment photo set on a newer blog did quite well – probably in part because the pictures were original and the story personal. Some Diggers didn’t read the headline on this article, and were disappointed – but it delivered exactly what the headline said: a brilliantly simple and cheap guerilla marketing strategy.
Who could disagree with an article on subversive and illegal guerilla gardening? Apparently other people agree with me that ads on YouTube videos are going too far. If you want to see my most recent top story check this page and vote it up if you like it!
I would like to thank EVERYONE who helped out by Digging up the last amazing post -Â it just barely made the front page in the 24-hour window of possibility, and has been getting Dugg up ever since! If you Dugg the article thans :D
This rather humorous and strangely ‘mega’ image suggests it isn’t.
Kevin Rose founded Digg.com and recently launched Pownce.com, but his company – Megatechtronium – doesn’t appear to have reserved their own domains! Megatechtronium.com just has “Megatechtronium?” on it and (much more interesting) Megatechtronium.net is up for sale to the highest bidder.
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Pownce was just released – a new brainchild from Digg.com founder Kevin Rose – who apparently forgot that if he kept things entirely hush-hush there would be a storm of searches when Pownce was announced. As a result, some poor World of Warcraft fan with the user name Pownce is currently having his profile trampled via Google searches for Rose’s new project (for a while it was the number one result). Just one more innocent bystander trampled by the stampeding Digg mobs!