Social News sites like Digg and Reddit have built a reputation for being focused on 2 things: the offbeat and the tech-oriented. Mainstream media has shied away from using the social news aggregation sites because they didn’t believe their stories would do well.
Times have changed.
Social news is mainstream news. In a recent study, we discovered that Digg, the most prominent social news site with over 40 million visitors per month, has shifted to embrace mainstream media sites within their community. The top 50 sites once controlled 46% of the Digg front page, but this has dropped to 41% in recent months and is trending to continue to diversify.
No more looking for spades, street signs, or red faces. Digg has gone to text links rather than thumbnails of the avatars on submissions. A few days ago, they raised the limit from 200 to approximately300, then apparently back up to “unlimited” (even though there is one report of a user banned because of Digging too much).
Server performance aside, is this an effort to reduce the rate of “blind digging” while not hurting their page views? Blind digging has always been an issue and will continue to be even if this change sticks, but it does make it less convenient to run through the front page or recommended upcoming pages looking for friends’ icons. Continue reading Digg removes avatars, raises Digging limits
UPDATE: Leo Laporte had Digg co-founder Kevin Rose on his show and asked him about this. You can see it on Twit Live – the Diggbar discussion starts at the 11:26 mark. Here is an excerpt:
(Laporte gives Rose the background from an article on Techcrunch)
Laporte: Is that true?
Rose: That’s a good question.
Laporte: You don’t know?
Rose: I’ve been gone for 2 weeks so I don’t know what got pushed, what code got pushed and how it functions but my last understanding is that what we wanted to do is have it so that if you click on a Digg URL it takes you to the Digg stories so you can Digg it. Rather than providing a short URL service that just forwards and does redirection we would just do a URL service just for Digg articles. Just like the same way that Techcrunch does “techcrunch slash 85374″ – if you go to that you’re not going to go to some other site you’re going to go to techcrunch. That’s the story.
Laporte: So you’re backing off on the original idea which is a general URL shortening service…
UPDATE: Digg has confirmed via email that this is not a mistake and the shortener is working as intended.
UPDATE: Let Digg know how you feel through Twitter. Send an @digg via @socialnews reply and your tweets will be posted here as well.
Either there’s an error happening with Diggbar or Digg just made a big mistake. Before, those who clicked on the links when not logged into Digg would be taken to the source image, article, or video.
Recently, the links have been switched to point to a Digg landing page if you aren’t logged in – the pages where the story is posted on Digg, not the original source.
No word from Digg regarding this. No blog post. No onsite message. No reply to a recent email. They dropped it in and now it appears that they’re seeing if it sticks.
In their blog post today, Digg announced that they are going to use some of the technology that they developed in their improved search function to find stories that are either the exact same story fromt he same site with different URLs or similar stories from different sources that are basically saying the same thing.
A minor point in all of this is that they have moved the duplicate detection to the front of the submission process rather than being the last step. This is a nice feature for those who spend a good deal of time crafting the right headline, description, and selecting the right category only to find out later that the story or some form of it had already been submitted.
Recently, Digg has really started cracking down on duplicate submissions and have actively gone after those who do it abusively by intentionally resubmitting something that they know has already been submitted. This is good.
There are times when a submission is good enough to be featured on the front page but wasn’t submitted by a user with the social capital to get it the attention it deserves. Case in point:
There is no question that the Digg community took a liking to the video. There is no question that the video had been submitted at least 3 times before (probably more than that). The way that Digg is set now, technically speaking, this is a dupe and should (A) not have been submitted, (B) the submitters after the first person should have simply Dugg the original submission, and (C) the other submissions should not have made the front page.
Thank goodness that the dupe system isn’t perfect or Susan Boyle’s amazing performance would not have had over 6K diggs with tens of thousands of users enjoying the video. Still, the underlying negatives associated with duping stories outweigh the benefits of having strong content hit the front page. Is there a solution that can discourage dupes, give credit to the original submitter, and focus on content as much as possible?
Digg.com has implemented some pretty profound changes without making a peep (other than a teaser mention in a blog post last year). They have addressed most of the problems with exact duplicate submissions, once a gaping hole in their promotion style as well as their credibility.
The Digg blog mentioned 4 months ago that:
“We’re also working on a new system that will, among other things, allow us to track users who abusively submit duplicate content.”
Abusive duping is one thing, but Digg has also implemented a change to fix accidental or simultaneous duplication of story submissions.