Friday, January 05, 2007

Solving the Duplicate Submission Problem

This post has been moved here from Socially Given, Enjoy!

This post is in response to Jay Adelson's (Digg CEO) comment where he states that Digg is open to suggestions for improving current features.

One of the problems with social news that was identified early on was that of duplicate submissions. Duplicate submissions are similar stories from different sources, that get submitted to socially driven news and content sites such as Digg, Netscape, and Reddit.

I often find that there when news breaks, there is a relatively narrow scope of information that is shared through all of the major news sources. In an effort to get a story to the front page, hopeful diggers are able to submit the same basic content from these varied sources because the urls are different. This ultimately leads to a crowding of the queue with more submissions but the same content over and over again.

Instead of sitting around and complaining, I have decided to offer a potential solution:

The Proposal

My original idea allowed users to submit alternative sources to a specific topic. At the time of the post, the hot news story was the plane crash in NY that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. I created a mockup of what this could look like, after some feedback it was decided that the ability to vote on the sources would be needed:


Recently, Digg implemented something very similar to this in the form of their Podcasting section. While it looks nothing like my mock up, it does include the key component; Digging of separate items withing a central topic. This is an important feature that would really be a positive move forward for Digg if it were implemented to news stories.

First, it organizes like-information together making it easier for Digg's users to read about a topic they care about. For instance, if I care about a particular topic, lets say Saddam Hussein's death penalty verdict, I will be able to watch this item progress as new information is released while getting the news from several sources. (Side note: I feel it is important to read news from several sources to be sure I am getting a more full picture of the entire story)

Second, it allows the multiple sources to be easily grouped much the way Google's News service works. The only difference being that humans decide which sources are worthwhile by digging them.

Much like the new podcasting section, you would be able to comment on the topic as well as the source. This would be a good way to evaluate each source individually as part of a collection of information, rather than just the singular source in itself.

This would also deflate the so-called unfairness that Digg's top users wield. Instead of an effort to get frontpaged, the effort is now to add quality sources and information that inform the Digg community.

1 comment:

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