Posts Tagged ‘digg’

Why the Digg Redesign doesn’t matter

Monday, August 6th, 2012
Posted in Web · Tags:

So Digg‘s redesign makes it look like a magazine and on the iPad it looks like Pinterest. Having a more visual feel to the site, slows down my parsing of the site for really good stories. If you want just popular news that includes the brain-melting memes of the internet and wierd stories, I guess Digg or Reddit is up your alley. However, if you are like me, you find yourself only looking for the really good stories, not just what caught the most peoples eyes. People look at those kinds of stories, which is what drives ad views and revenue for their site, but does it mean it was really a quality piece? Recently one of the top stories on Digg was about a Taco Bell employee peeing on a food. Not exactly a quality story.

And without categories and subcategories, story types (videos, images, text) like the original Digg v3 or older had, its very hard to filter this mass of garbage coming through. Digg was great in its day, but I want quality information. Sure they have some moderation on the site now, but it really isn’t enough.

When you click or view something online you are voting for more of it. Ask yourself if each story or article you read online is worth it. Until them I’m sticking with Hacker News. It may be kind of start-up and entrepreneurship heavy, but I can filter those easier than today’s funny picture. Slashdot is still decent, but is too Unix centered and doesn’t have enough web development and design stories.

Alternatives to Digg

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Posted in Web · Tags:

Just incase you don’t like the Digg version 4, here are some alternatives to check out.

  • DZone – Great site for development news and blog stories, they have plenty of tags to let you filter out what you use. The site gets a lot of submissions but not enough votes on the submissions to figure out what is really good (the top stories for 24 hours may only have 15 or 8 votes). Also the AJAX scrollbar is irritating to me.
  • DesignFloat – Focuses on web design news and tips, but most of the submissions are nothing but lists.
  • DesignBump – Another site about web design news and lots of lists
  • Sphinn – Dedicated to internet marketing
  • reddit – Similar to Digg, but the design is too plain and submitting stories can be a pain as they make you wait a long time before submitting again. The submissions are pretty general so expect a lot of weird images, funny videos and bizarre news.
  • Slashdot – The classic technology news site is still around and has improved a bit, but it doesn’t have as that much information on web development and design.
  • Mixx (classic) – The submitted stories aren’t as good as they should be, but you’ll get the top news stories. The site has a general audience, so the technology news isn’t what it could be. I really dislike how they changed the homepage for mixx.com because they wanted to promote tweetmixx which doesn’t seem much more than something that could be a sidebar.
  • Propeller – Another general news site.
  • Yahoo! Buzz – Another site to find the top news stories online

Features Digg Killed

Friday, May 28th, 2010
Posted in Web · Tags:

I started using Digg back in 2005 and I remember a lot of features they had and have abandoned. I thought I would share as many as I can remember and why I think they were removed.

Top Users
This was a list of the top users, which listed the a user’s username, how many stories they had got on the homepage, how many submissions they had made, the ratio of homepage stories to submissions, how many stories they dugg, how many comments they had made, and how many pageviews their profile had recieved. Later on it was broken into 2 tabs one for Top Diggers and the other for Top Submitters. This was a great feature in the beginning as it featured those who helped make digg what it was. However, as the Digg algorithm became more important it let to the conclusion that the top users (power users or submitters) were the ones that had an unfair advantage of what made the frontpage.

Digg Spy (the original non-flash version)
I always like the non-flash version of Digg Spy, it was a great way of seeing what was becoming popular or unpopular (you could see buries). I showed this to people when I needed to give them an idea of what AJAX was and let them know that this was pretty much real time data. It was taken down since they had built another version of it in Flash.

Digg Shout
A messaging system for users to contact each other through Digg to help get friends or other users to promote stories they submitted or for messages in general. However, it ended up becoming mostly a spammy system where people tried to get everyone to promote their own stories. However you could disable this feature or only allow friends to shout to you. It was replaced by email, Twitter and Facebook sharing links.

DiggBar
I believe this was introduced to help stickiness (to keep traffic on Digg as much as possible) since it gave a shortened URL for all links and put the site linked to below in an IFRAME. It also featured a random button that would send you to another story, which many believed was a way to compete with StumbleUpon. Originally you could also type digg.com/ before the URL of any page you’re on to create a short URL. As of writing, this feature hasn’t been removed, but Kevin Rose has stated it is going away.

Blog This
A feature that let you blog about a story that you or someone else submitted. Was considered no longer needed once they added the email, Twitter and Facebook sharing links.

Digg Clouds
This was basically a tag cloud, but for stories submitted to Digg. This was replaced by the Upcoming section.

Digg Comments with a Slashdot style rating system
Many may not know that the comment rating system Digg used in the early days, was very similar to Slashdot. They used to let you rate a comment as +3 Excellent, +2 Insightful, +1 Useful, 0 Neutral, -1 Redundant, -2 Flame, -3 SPAM. Eventually they went to the simple, thumbs up or thumbs down.

Comments replies via email that sent you the reply
Digg finally realized they should email you replies to your comments (I always wondered why they didn’t do this earlier). However, I believe they decided to remove the actualy reply to your comment for 2 reasons. One being that it was susceptible to spam, but I think the biggest reason was to get more pageviews by making you want to see what someone said and you had to visit the link they sent you to do that.

Categories Digg has removed

  • Deals – This was for finding great tech deals online. However, it wasn’t used very much, but then again, there probably aren’t that many good deals out there on a regular basis.
  • Robots – A section for robotics, but wasn’t used all that much so it went away.
  • Election 2008 – Makes sense since they only needed it for that time period.

Like any good website Digg has evolved and continues to try new things to see what works and what doesn’t. I still wish they had remained true to their technology niche, but at least I can filter out the categories I don’t like and disable image and video submissions.

Digg Traffic Peaked Last Summer

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
Posted in Web · Tags:

I was checking out Alexa to see current trends and I noticed that Digg‘s traffic peaked last summer. To be honest, I haven’t even bothered going to Digg or using their feeds for almost 2 months now. They simply wanted to be the all encompassing news site, but has turned into mostly hyped up stories, idiotic images and major blogs reblogging blogs.

Digg Traffic Dropping

Digg Traffic Dropping

Even on Google Trends Digg is dropping off and falling. For some reason, Fark jumped up last summer and is now surpassing Digg in Google’s search queries. Has the wisdom of the crowd now turned into the combined idiocy of the immature?

Digg on Google Trends

Digg on Google Trends

You may already know MySpace peaked last summer and has been dropping, while Facebook and Twitter having been growing.

MySpace traffic dropping

MySpace traffic dropping

Digg vs. Slashdot

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008
Posted in Web · Tags: ,

Digg

  • You hear about news much sooner
  • News promoted by users rather than editors
  • RSS feeds for everything (even search)
  • RSS feeds that include the proper categories (Slashdot only includes the first category and omits the rest)
  • API (this allows you to filter things or mashup the news how you want)
  • Contact form (Slashdot doesn’t have one)

Slashdot

  • Technology Focused
  • Just news (no funny videos or pictures, although some people want to see those)
  • Better comment filtering and ratings

The typical comparisons I’ve read state that Digg has more childish comments and that Slashdot’s comments are usually better. Slashdot does have several users that seem to be a expert in a given field by reading their comments, so that case maybe slightly true. However ou can find just as many poor comments on Slashdot as you do on Digg, but you probably won’t see much ASCII art on Slashdot get rated very high. And even though Slashdot’s Firehose gives users the chance to promote other user submitted stories they still must be approved by the editors. This may lead to some staleness in the site, as I got tired in seeing the same old discussions over and over on Slashdot. Any time the RIAA was mentioned the same old arguments came up and the same with Microsoft or Vista. Slashdot also doesn’t cover web design or web development very well either, if it ever comes up it’s because Google changed or released something. Slashdot seems to be more hardware, application development and operating system focused. Personally, I gave up on Slashdot well over a year ago, because I couldn’t filter the feeds good enough, the lack of web dev/design news and the repetitious arguments in the comments.