Thursday, September 28, 2006

Customize and Improve your Digg Experience

I've been noticing that many diggers have been frustrated by the amount of "crappy stories" that have been making their way to the homepage. I agree that there are some stories that should not be on the homepage, others however, I just don't care about. That's when I decided to use the features Digg provides to improve my Digg experience. Here's how:

Remove the topics you don't care about from your homepage
This is actually a very simple task. Click the 'Add or Remove Topics' link on the left side of Digg. Now uncheck the boxes of the topics you don't care about. Personally, I removed political opinion.

Block Specific User's Comments
Sometimes I notice certain users who troll stories and naysay everything. Sometimes they might say something that it useful, but the majority of the time it isn't. I just block them. You can do this by clicking the icon next to the users name on their comments. You can unblock people by going to the blocked users tab in your profile settings.

Digg/Bury Stories
A lot of people will probably roll their eyes at this one and say I am stupid for saying this, but it needs to happen. Digg stories you like, bury stories that are Spam, Dupes, the Wrong Topic, Lame, or Inaccurate. I'm sure we would all be surprised at how many people complain about the quality of stories on the homepage, but do nothing to influence them. Be Active!

Now, for a few features I would like to see:

Blocking Specific Websites
Sometimes, I notice a bunch of posts I dont care about coming from a certain website, but I cannot use the Topic Removal Feature because they are posted in topics I care about. I think it would be helpful to have the ability to blacklist the specific website from your homepage.

Blocking Specific User Submissions
This would work the same as the one above, and would extend the blocking user comments feature. Again, there are some users I feel who don't post quality stories. The ability to block their submissions from my homepage would be awesome.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top 50 Dugg Stories of All-Time

A couple weeks ago (9/9/06), I was really bored and decided to look deeper into the Top 50 Most Dugg Stories on Digg. The raw data is on the following chart, my analysis is below it.

(Click image to view full size)

When I first started collecting the data, I figured that the top users would be responsible for the majority of these top posts. What I actually found was the complete opposite.
  • Only three of the top 50 stories were submitted by the top 100 users. Two of those were by kevinrose.
  • Average Digg Rank: 4780.58
  • Only 2 users had multiple stories (2 each); kevinrose and dburka
I believe that this indicates the difference between the top users and this group of people. Perhaps top users generally find the day-to-day stuff that we all want to read about, while these contributers submit the things that are completely unexpected and awesome. What do you think?

For those of you wondering, the method I used to find these stories was to run a search for 'http://', sort by most diggs, set the timeframe to all-time, and I included buried stories.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

What happened to the 'Buried Stories Bin'?

The 'Buried Stories Bin' was described on the digg blog in April and it sounded like a promising and interesting feature. Kevin had this to say about it:
"Shortly after the next major launch of digg (v3.1), reported stories will fall into a 'buried stories' bin. Users will have the ability to pick through this story bin and vote to have a story reinstated should they believe it was falsely reported. Expect to see this feature in the next few months."
Don't ask me why but I sat watching for buried stories instances on the Digg Spy for 5 minutes today which jarred me into remembering such a feature being mentioned. After which, I realized a couple things. First, I want to be able to see which users bury what stories. Second, after initially describing it as 'promising and interesting' up above, do I (or digg users in general) really want another thing to do on the site?

I wonder if this is even still being worked on? I guess time will tell.

Netscape makes the list....

Unfortunately it is the list of the Top 10 Web 2.0 Losers. Paul Scrivens writes that:
"It’s hard to call Netscape a loser because by default they should be receiving a ton of traffic with the use of one of the oldest Internet brands around. However, I don’t see them doing much simply because of the use of that old brand. Many people remember Netscape as being Microsoft’s whipping boy and newer people could care less what Netscape is because they know one thing, it isn’t Digg.

With a broader range of categories than Digg, it seems Netscape is trying to appeal more to the general public than just the technology crowd. However, that crowd doesn’t seem to be interested in going through stories and voting up the top ones and too much of the Digg crowd will remain loyal to Digg because of the community and interface (Netscape needs a UI overhaul in the worst way)."

While Netscape is definately not Digg, I would say that there is a different type of user present. Netscape does have some extremely active users that post, vote, and comment, but it looks like the a lot of people just don't get it, or don't want to get it (or don't know how to change their homepage). Some people just want their news without the social aspect attached. It will be most interesting to see what if anything is left in "social news" in a couple years.

On Netscape Promotion

I was skimming the homepage at Netscape today and decided that I am confused about how promotion works. There are some really popular stories that hit the homepage like this one, which has 73 votes and 832 comments and this one, which has 31 votes and 22 comments.

What struck me was the four stories in a row (here) (here) (here) (here) with 6 or less votes and no comments. It just seemed a little wierd that there were four obviously unpopular stories, which happened to be submitted by Navigators. Now, I don't think anything kooky is going on or anything, but perhaps the promotion algorithm needs some tweaking? Maybe less weight given to Navigators?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

On Digg/Netscape User Stats

(Click the image for better quality)

1st 12 hours: 985 new users (1970/day) (source)
1st 7 days: 3000 new users (428/day) (source)
1st 48 days: 34,000 new users (708/day) (source)
2nd 50 days: 26,255 new users (525/day) (source: netscape tracker on 9/20/2006)

97 days since first stat I could find: 194,809 (2008.34/day)
32 days in between next two stats: 66,327 (2072.7/day)
Number Sources: ~250000 444809 511136

I decided to forget about analyzing the story count because of the lack of numbers to look at.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Welcome to 'Inside Social News'

I thought I would say a quick 'hello' and welcome. The content of this site will be everything having to do with 'social news'. We'll just have to see where that takes us.

Enjoy :)