Thursday, November 30, 2006
Currently, on sites like digg or netscape, there is really only room for one source. Granted, Netscape's Navigators can add additional links they deem necessary. While this is a step in the right direction, it still fails to cover news topics properly. When a news story hits the front page people read it and thats that. If a story is submitted again dealing with the same topic, it is generally buried as a duplicate, regardless of its content value. Often times different sources can offer multiple views with new or supplementary information.
I have been paying attention to Techmeme ever since I was linked there several days back and I like what I see. Sure the site is not exactly social news like digg or netscape, but what is keeping those sites from adopting similar schemes? A while back I wrote an article proposing the grouping of similar and alternative sources into one topic. It seems that this is the next shift in social news. Sure there is still a place for social bookmarking and social 'cool stuff finding' but when it comes to news, who wouldn't want an easy list of topical links on a particular subject?
Perhaps it is just me, but I find that when it comes to general news topics the average 'social newser' only sees one side of the coin of news. Don't people want to read both sides of a story and decide for themselves?
Organizing news topics into groups of user-submitted links would not only accomplish this, but also spread some of the massive click-through love around. Are there any sites I am missing out on that do this? If so let me know, I want in.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I don't mind criticism or anything, but over the last several weeks I have been noticing an increasing amount of material from this site and others being buried. I don't think Digg is burying it or anything shady like that, I just think that as a whole, the digg audience doesn't really care about general 'social news' news all that much. When people submit every post from one specific site, diggers tend to remember them and bury accordingly. This is basically because as stated above, not everyone is interested in everything that is talked about here.
I would believe that this is not just the problem with Inside Social News, which is why I propose a method be devised for blocking individual entries from being submitted to social news sites.
This way, when I feel that there is something worthy of being submitted that the general digg audience would accept, I can allow it. I think we can all agree that not everything is awesome. By limiting the material from specific sites to only top-notch content, the perception of said site would be much higher.
I am pretty sure that people will probably hate this idea because everyone seems to only care about hits and pageviews these days. Until this is possible Submit away :)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1. The Title and Description Give Everything Away.
A lot of times I find that there is no need to click through to the actual story because it is already summarized for me. However, the summary is usually a poor one that doesn't explain everything. This causes people to digg, vote, and comment on stories without knowing exactly what the story is talking about.
2. Diggs and Votes are used as bookmarks.
I believe that Diggs and Votes are to signify that you like something, or feel that other people should see it. All too often, users 'bookmark' a story because they are at work or cannot read it at that moment. This inflates the digg count and is not helpful at all. I am hoping for some sort of bookmarking feature to come in the future.
3. Users Post the Content of the Story in the Comments.
I don't know that I have ever seen this on Netscape, but it happens fairly often on Digg. Some users feel the need to include the content of the article in the comments. This happens most often with lists and makes it unnecessary to view the article.
I'll give users the benefit of the doubt here. Sometimes there is simply no need to read the article.
Given the holiday weekend, I think we can all cut the Digg Crew some slack and should send them a big 'Thank You' for working so hard to keep digg valueable and enjoyable. Many thanks indeed!
With the new features coming soon, I thought I would speculate on what those might be. Here are a few ideas.
1. The Buried Stories Bin
What it is: Basically it is a bin where the stories that have been buried go to be re-evaluated. They can either stay buried or be voted back to the homepage or general queue.
Why this is important: Often times stories are buried due for no other reason than bias. "I don't like this user, or website" This gives people that enjoy reading those sites the ability to re-present them to the digg audience.
What makes me think this is coming? Digg & Co have repeated over and over about its development, from the digg blog to many many comments. (there are more, but you get the point) It would just make good sense to release it now.
2. Social Networking Features
What it is: Something along the line of profiles so users can interact better and easier.
Why this is important: Right now Digg is a quasi-community, but only through friends and comments. There is no real way to interact with fellow diggers.
What makes me think this is coming? Valleywag liveblogged Kevin's web 2.0 presentation and they mentioned that 'Digg is starting to create profiles. First, it shows users who are good or bad diggers. Second, it'll help Diggers socialize.'
3. Enhanced Publisher Tools
What it is: Some sort of flash based tools to help publishers know information about who is digging their articles and what is going on with them.
Why this is important: Publishers have caught on that good material = lots of hits. Knowledge about who make up these hits and how they are coming will enable dugg writers to know their audience better.
What makes me think this is coming? Valleywag's coverage of the web 2.0 conference again. They noted that 'Digg is also working on giving these tools to web publishers, giving dugg writers info about who's digging their story, what's going on. Digg's building a flash toolkit for this.'
4. The Digg API
What it is: A method to "...pretty much giving anyone who wants to create an application to manipulate the digg data the ability to do so."
Why this is important: I don't actually know why, but apparently API's help people do awesome things with data.
What makes me think this is coming? They said it is. One place was a ZDnet interview here.
Well thats all of the ones Digg has made clear are coming. Hopefully we will see some of them. What are some features that you, the digg users would like to see?
Monday, November 27, 2006
Also, the bidding is up to $1026 for the site.
News - 11/18/06: I was working on this post when I noticed that Spike The Vote is now for sale. Here is a link to the auction.
Several weeks ago, a new service called Spike the Vote was announced promising huge page views for people untalented enough to create what I like to call 'good content'. Some of my content would probably fall into that category, but instead of joining a losers support group, I try to make better content. (It still probably sucks anyway) Without further adieu, the launch of this service went something like that of a man announcing his impotence.
First of all, it is fairly easy to see what stories are submitted by the people attempting to spike the vote. For example, of the 3 missions assigned to me, I was able to easily sniff out 2 of the offending sites, the third offender was a toss up between a couple sites. Adsense is a often a dead giveaway though having adsense means nothing in itself.
Second, it is obvious to see which users use spike the vote. When a user is assigned 5 stories, other spikethevote users are also assigned the same 5 stories. A simple cross reference of the 'who dugg this' page reveals similarities, a digging history check of those users reveals the same 5 stories dugg in the exact same order. Coincidence? I think not.
Third, as for huge page views, there aren't any. While I noticed that each mission included a story submitted by a top user to try and fool people. These stories were quality and reached the homepage anyway. As for the others, the most diggs I saw was around 25 or so.
***Disclaimer*** I signed up for the luxury of writing a post about it and engaged in no shady behavior. I didn't digg anything assigned. Had I needed to submit or digg a story to be gamed in order to get a mission, I wouldn't have.
DiggGames.com (now games1.org) - collected the flash games which made it to the homepage
Digg2phone.com - (closing) - follow specified digg stories with text messages
Diggcard.com - (closed) - allowed users to create a miniature profile cards for their website
Diggdot.us - (now doggdot.us) - an aggregator of digg, del.icio.us, and slashdot articles
DiggSig.com - create your very own automatic updating Digg Signature for your website, myspace or online forums
DiggAddict.com - News and/or controversy news about digg.com
Diggirc.com - connect with other diggers via irc
Diggscape.net - aggregates rss feeds from digg, netscape, and now reddit
pocketdigg.com - digg's and many other sites' headlines formatted for mobile devices
duggtrends.com - a site which compliments digg by mirroring dead links, also includes several other neat features
DiggLicious.com - hybrid digg + del.icio.us in a digg spy scroller
diggsoundboard.com - parody 'comment cloud' of digg comments
diggvsdot.com - highlights crossposted articles from digg and slashdot and scores them
slashdigg.com - half digg, half slashdot
diggfiltr.com - create a custom digg feed in seconds
diggfans.com - forum-ish thing that doesn't really do anything
diggdown.net - site that offers mirrors of diggnation saturday night - tuesday night
diggarmy.com - website that spells 'digg army' in the little digg guys, pretty creative
dugg.mobi - mobile friendly digg.com, soon to offer mobile friendly site conversion
dugged.com - help fix this person cat, saw this posted to digg
I am pretty sure I was able to find most of them myself, but if there are any other please let me know. Have any more sites been contacted to be shut down?
On a side note, several of the services listed above are mobile version of digg. Digg already offers a service that does that. It can be found at diggriver.com.
I should also mention that I DO feel that digg has the right to go after sites that use the digg trademark, especially if they are using digg graphics making the site appear like it might be associated with digg.com.
This C&D is reasonable in my opinion. The site takes stories that have been posted to digg, puts them on its own website, and has ads on the page. Hardly complementary in my estimations. Although, that type of activity is actually encouraged by digg through their blog tools. The digg name was the item in question here, so I can't imagine any more trouble with the rebrand.
All this trademark stuff is giving me a headache. Digggames, digg2phone, diggcard, and now diggdot.us. I am pondering posting my list of sites that infringe on the trademark. I think its somewhere near 20.
Friday, November 24, 2006
One of the things that bother me about digg is when submitted stories are buried innappropriately. A prime example of this is an explanatory post about digg's moderators by Muhammad @ themulife. At digg, the submission was marked as inaccurate and buried. Usually I would celebrate this self-moderation by the masses, except that in this case, it was completely wrong.
This story was not inaccurate. It pointed out that digg HAS moderators. A common misconception among the digg population is that there are NO moderators. If anything this would give people a better understanding of how digg works. Kevin Rose, the creator of digg, even confirmed the existence of moderators in the comments, further showing that this story was not inaccurate.
In a side note, frustration with digg's burial process is probably at an all-time high right now. I would think that this would be a good time for the digg crew to unveil the 'buried stories bin' which has been worked on since at least April. More on the bin to come.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
These "users" were nice enough to all digg the exact same stories. Some were even nice enough to post the exact same stories to their blogs.
chenfu910 - Dugg - Blog
johnbowdy - Dugg
hothope - Dugg - Blog
tsaifufu - Dugg - Blog
warrantsai001 - Dugg
amyleeamy - Dugg - Blog
leejuihsing - Dugg
leemeng - Dugg
All of these sites have firstname.lastname@example.org listed as their contact in the WHOIS registry. Tsaifufu is one of the digg usernames listed above. Anyways, here are the sites:
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
- Pausing does just that, it pauses the fast-moving hive so you can click and read the links much easier.
- Forage gives a bit more information about the link itself; such as what time it was submitted and what time it entered the hive. For sites with tags, it is nice enough to list those as well as similar stories.
Digg Has Moderators
It would be very false to say that Digg doesn't have moderators. The only question is what exactly they do? Here are a few references I found with regard to digg admin or mods from the digg team themselves:
part 2 of a ZDNet interview, Kevin had this to say:
"But for the most part I’d say it’s probably 95% user-driven, so the users handle most of that for us - which is really nice from the admin side, in that we don’t really have to have a large staff that’s policing the site. It’s actually only one person who watches the site in general - it’s not really that big a task because the community handles most of it."
There Are Missing Stories
As far as I understand it, when a story is buried it is removed from the homepage. However, It still exists on digg. This is easily shown by running a search and including buried stories. Here is an example search I ran using 'themulife'. This is how digg works...except when it doesn't.
Sometimes stories are completely removed from digg. I have no idea why, but it happens. Here is an example of a story that was buried, but is no longer anywhere on digg. http://digg.com/gaming_news/Just_out_from_Reuters_650_000_PS3s_to_be_recalled. Oops, page not found. I know this story existed because there I watched it get buried numerous times on the digg spy:
This has happened to other stories as well. Perhaps it is an internal error? In completeing the research for this story I ran across this ZDNet interview with Digg founder Kevin Rose where he explains the burial system. Here is the important snippet:
"So, for example, users can "bury" a story and when enough users do that it’s removed from the queue, but not deleted from the site."
What do the moderators moderate?
I'm sure you can come to your own conclusion here. I would think it would be a bad conclusion that Digg is up to no good, because they really have a lot to lose going that route. What do you think?
While there are certain aspects (such as the number of buries per story) of the burying process that should not be revealed for good reason. Others should. One good example of this is the reason for burial. Currently, in order to find out why a submission was buried, you need to email digg support. Big waste of time for something as cut and dry as this. Why not just list the reason next to the red thumbs down?
Another crazy idea would be to differentiate between 'user moderation' and 'administrative moderation'. I believe this would allow digg's users to see how/why things are done, and who they are done by. This would give them the opportunity to know what they did wrong so that they know what to correct in the future.
In the end, mysterious things sometimes happen for no reason. Without proper explanation people tend to conjure up conspiracy theories or whatever. I hope this post did not come across as a conspiracy theory as I only presented what we know and nothing more. Digg on.
1. Not submit any posts to social news sites unless it is actually 'news'. After doing some research, I found that digg does not like random thoughts being paraded around on digg. Here are a couple comments by danhuard (digg moderator):
"STOP submitting stories like this. Digg IS NOT a message board, stop treating it as such. You submit technology and science news content only. Don't use the submission feature as your personal megaphone. As much as you hate exclamation points you're equally cluttering up th digg queue. Please think about your actions before acting on them. You're identifying a very petty problem by creating a much larger one. Think..."
2. Research, research, research. One things that news sites do is research to be sure what they are saying is accurate. Sure some people may disagree, but there is generally some sort of editorial wall before something can be published. Many Blogs do not have this because they generally 'repurpose' news and throw a link to the people that actually did research. Again I will use a comment by Dan Huard to prove digg does not like this:
"submissions like these are exactly why it's so difficult to follow stories completely through the /diggall queue to the homepage.stop treating digg like a message board...it's science and technology news not "whatever comes to my thought process gets submitted."contact digg at email@example.com"
"If you're going to call digg out, you've gotta come in with more credibility3. Change my domain from insidesocialnews.blogspot.com to www.insidesocialnews.com. Many people see the blogspot tag and immediately consider it blogspam regardless of its content value.
4. Keep it ad/adsense free until I have something worth getting paid for to say. Many people put ads up in hope of making a quick buck or paying for hosting or something. As of right now blogger pays for my hosting so there is no need to try and recooperate costs.
Lastly, here is a comment by dan that kind of sums up their feeling on blogs. I think it is relevant to the topic. An please don't submit this to digg.
"After reading this I still don't see how blogs add any value to digg. The people who actually get off their asses and do actual news gathering and reporting should be credited. Generally, blog sites even try to hide the original source and only link internally thereafter. The obvious ones are the Weblogs, Inc. guys (engadget, joystiq, blogging baby, etc.)
Maybe I should retract what I said, "After reading this I still don't see how blogs add any value to digg." There IS a value for blogging (different perspectives, sometimes addtional expert advice, etc.) but bloggers have abused their power too much. It's too easy to submit anything you want. And EVERYBODY wants a few extra bucks from Google Ads so there is the problem, imo.
On another note, digg users still don't understand the administrative toolset digg provides. People complain about how bad the stories are but they don't 'report' the story. The community needs to realize that if you want digg a certain way, YOU have the power to change it. YOU are the admins. It's like voting for our president. You can't complain how bad of a job he's doing if you didn't vote!"
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Normally I wouldn't think too deeply about something like this but lets all take a time machine back to August when digg sent a cease and desist order to DiggGames. Kevin Rose wrote about it on the Digg blog, but that was specific to the term 'digg'. With new teminology such as 'dugg' added, could duggtrends/duggmirror be in jeopardy? Hopefully not as they provide an awesome service that is widely used throughout the digg community.
"DIGG, DIGG IT, DUGG, DIGG THIS, Digg graphics, logos, designs, page headers,
button icons, scripts, and other service names are the trademarks of Digg Inc."
Update - Sites that have been contacted:
Digg2Phone - " With Digg2Phone, you can choose which stories you want us to follow for you, and we'll text message you when something happens."
Digg Card - "Digg card is a way of inserting your Digg.com Profile on to you website."
DiggGames - now games1.org - a listing of all the flash games that have been featured on the frontpage of digg.com
Friday, November 17, 2006
Obviously, I do not think the main goal of Netscape is to get more users, but rather to have more participation. However, I would consider this information an indicator of waning interest. It is fairly difficult to compare this to Digg at the moment since there has not been any public statement of their userbase in a while. My guess is that it is fast approaching the magical 1 Million mark. Anyways, take this information for what its worth.
Edit: Muhammad gives some good positive analysis on the topic here.
Any other stats people are interested in seeing?
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Sense of humor required.
*not actually real-time
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Here are a couple good examples of what I mean:
1. "Religious right leaders knew #1 evangelical, Ted Haggard, was gay"
Problem: No one reads past the headline. Many people are so quick to comment about how terrible Christian's are, they fail to read the story at all. I did read the story and the links it quoted, but somehow I only see that Haggard's being gay was speculated. Far from proof if you ask me.
2. "**Republican Fires Employee For Confirming that He Violated Ethics Rules"
Problem: Again, the sheep, I mean readers don't read the article. The comments section was filled up with comments saying that Republicans are *all* corrupt. Anyways, I decided to read the article and found that at no point did the article state that anyone was fired.
Please don't take either of these example and say that I condone the actions at the heart of the news stories. I don't. Hypocrisy and unethical behavior are not good. I simply want people to be a little less stupid. Is that too much to ask?
Monday, November 06, 2006
People also seem to enjoy doing the opposite of what you ask for in a comment. Requests for positive diggs are buried, requests for buries are dugg. Case in point:
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Also, the amount of diggs on these comments are accurate at the time of this post. Please check out this digg comments page, its hilarious. - thanks MightyGiant
1. -713 - on THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead.
"nice, it's about time." by yevkasem2. -577 - on Alternate iTunes 7 UI? - thanks Flawless
"Congratulations. You have discovered what everyone who has installed iTunes 7 already knows about.3. -547 - on THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead.
Have a cookie." - by Cander
"Yeah, a sort of invincible like Mario that took a star!" by TapaGeur4. -526 - on Apple' Letter to Pirate bay... and the reply - thanks hammydude
"Agreed. His replies are not at all clever and not entertaining in the least. The Pirate Bay violates copyright of many corporations and businesses and should be immediately shut down." by i4405. -482 - on Apple' Letter to Pirate bay... and the reply - thanks hammydude
"You didnt need to digg it." - by KillaBrew6. -455 - on Very funny picture
"What the hell kind of lazy-ass submission is this? What is this, Fark? Just say what the goddamn picture is, if it is funny people will laugh when they see it. For god's sake!" by devindotcom7. -453 - on Netscape.com HACKED!
"http://digg.com/tech_news/NETSCAPE_HACKED" by melmyfinger8. -417 - on THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead.
"rofl...as horrible as it may seem, for some reason i find this funny.. and i don't know why ?" by oldskewlboy9. -363 - on Apple' Letter to Pirate bay... and the reply - thanks hammydude
"Here is the whole letter...." by junkmail02blah blah blah I'm not listing it all out here
10. -327 - on Senator Ted Stevens Downloads the Entire Internet and Complains It's Slow
"...11. -301 - on New Digg v3 Launched
You can't DOWNLOAD the entire internet." by xXShadowstormXx
"my opera was auto-refreshing every second .. i bet i was the first here :D" by RBotros
Friday, November 03, 2006
Updated -Top 17:
1. +712 - on THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead.
"I'm shocked. He's tempted death many, many times on TV. I thought he was immune." by tslack
2. +665 - on New Digg v3 Launched
"I have a complaint/annoyance. How hard would it be to structure the page so that it uses up the browser window. Right now, the page is coded for a very specific browser window size. Anything bigger, you get big empty side bars, anything less, you have to use the horizontal scroll bar. Slashdot (for example, not trolling) always fills up the browser window. I'm only browsing with a 19" LCD, I'm sure its even more of a problem/waste for folks with the newer widescreen LCDs." by mwales
3. +651 - on Vote Stephen Colbert, Not Chuck Norris, For Bridge in Hungary! -thanks norbiu
"So which one are you trying to endorse? Your title says "vote stephen not chuck" but then you say "don't let stephen win" - by hagnarAfter analyzing the results I come to the conclusion that you're fucking retarded."
4. +638 - on Microsoft sends congratulation cake to Mozilla
"even their cake probably has bugs in it" by jiminoc
5. +571 - on Its confirmed. Google Buys youtube for $1.6 billion
"LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOOY JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS" by ifonly6. +532 - on eBay building bombed: exclusive im's from worker inside building - thanks ICSU
"A Transformer, eh? I wonder what Megatron and his ilk have against eBay. They must be auctioning energon at amazingly low prices." - by KyleRayner7. +517 - on Microsoft sends congratulation cake to Mozilla
"It was a nice gesture from the IE7 team. I guess developers don't take these "browser wars" as seriously as the users do." by latova8. +510 - on Giant bugs in Germany! - thanks spaztech
"I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords." -Signalis9. +432 - on 25 of the best extensions for Firefox - Have It Your Way! - thanks SamKellett
"Microsoft is paying an infinite number of monkeys to mod down an infinite number of firefox comments." - by crilen00710. +417 - on AOL busted for spamming DIGG
"this is a comment on digg about a digg submission which links to a digg blog with an article about comments left on digg...
you guys are way too into this whole digg thing" by khag7
11. +415 - on It's Done! One Red Paperclip Guy has got his house.
"How about 'One Read Post'?12. +413 - on Vote Stephen Colbert, not Chuck Norris, for Bridge in Hungary! - thanks norbiu
Here's my post, now anyone care to Digg me up?" by sanman
"Anyone who doesn't vote for Colbert is a terrorist." - by zeldafan13. +409 - on 15 year old tries to out drive police at 150MPH! - thanks AWboy666
"For the record, this guy actually GOT AWAY. This was a big issue a few years ago because FOX edited it to make it look like they didn't get away. They actually arrested him a few days later at his home. Note how the "breakdown" footage at 3:42 is exactly the same as when he tries to stop at 2:09?14. +405 - on eBay Bans Sellers from Using Google Checkout
The BMW got away. BMW FTMFW." - by AWboy666
"So is this the "can't beat them, so ban them!" solution?" by xose15. +390 - on No, I can't fix your computer! - thanks gwill11
"I can fix it....But I don't want to and I'm sick of people asking me!........That felt better." - by gwill1116. +368 - on TWIT in on the way out?
"Do Patrick and John even realize that the only reason anyone knows about dl.tv or cranky geeks is because of TWiT? How many podcasts would be in the dumper if not for the free publicity that TWiT gave them. This even goes for digg. I found out about digg from TWiT as did many others." by FishyJoe
17. +367 - on THE Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin, is dead.
"go fuck yourself and die." by ButtholeSurfer
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I felt a little stupid after looking in the source to find the story id when after I found it, a user commented an easy way to find it. Simply: http://services.digg.com/story/1