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Doin’ it and (nearly) Diggin’ it!

Thursday, 20 September 2007 — by

What’s this? Do I see Digg stretching out into Social Networking, after their conquest of all things Social Media? I know, I know, I’m hardly the easiest guy to please. But I’m sort of starting to like Digg again…

In light of Digg getting into Social Networking, I thought it might be a good time to outline what’s good and what’s bad about Digg and what’s needed to make Digg better for the future.

Why I do dig Digg…

Having friends on Digg is one thing, but if we can’t draw those friends out into the wider web, introducing them into our conversations and dialogues elsewhere, then we’re in some what of a Social Networking cul de sac.

So the recent changes to the user profiles on Digg are a good – if obvious and overdue – step in the right direction.

Fellow ‘blogger Brian over at NowSourcing – now a believer of Digg – provides a good break-out of the new features.

For the first time, we can chat amongst ourselves. I’ve been aching for this one feature for yonks, so I’m very pleased.

Additionally, there’s all of the hooks & barbs for adding in our other Social Media and Social Networking stuff, which has pleased me no end.

Although, if I must find fault, it’s not as easy to add websites to my Digg profile as it is for Pownce. Why do I mention Pownce? Because it’s the same guys behind Digg.

Now that got me thinking: what if Digg and Pownce were to integrate some of their functionality?

What about starting a link thread on Ponwce and having the option to submit to Digg? Complete with replies from your friends.

Or, sending Shouts to friends on Digg and have them appear in Pownce for those friends common to both Pownce and Digg, too?

Of course, the user profiles would need to link together somehow, but I’m sure that’s not too hard to do. They’re smart people.

Why I don’t dig Digg…

There’s still too many crap / unfunny / abusive opening comments to posts, and I still can’t understand why articles that get seventy plus votes get less than ten visits (yes, this happened to me recently with my “Google doesn’t get Social Media” article).

Also, it’s just plain labourious adding stuff to Digg. Obviously not too labourious, or Digg wouldn’t be as wildly popular as it is.

OK, this might just be a lazy-me thing, but the reason I use StumbleUpon so much is because they make it easy for me to bookmark stuff. The same can be said for the official Yahoo! del.icio.us Add-On for Firefox, too.

So c’mon, guys! Give me a Digg tool bar for Firefox and I’ll start adding stuff, OK? Promise!

Diggin’ in the dirt?

Quite recently, a new Social Media Add-On for Firefox was released:

“Over the summer we have been building some sweet tools to help us save time while finding good content to submit to social sites. It can take a lot of time out of your day to find really good content that would be suitable for the audiences of Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and others. So we developed a tool that does just that for you.”

I still have my reservations about how such a thing will be used:

“You forgot to add the feature that lets people actually submit something original.

That’s the killer feature, not Social Media scraping.

That’s the reason I don’t use Digg but use StumbleUpon, Clipmarks and the official Yahoo! del.icio.us Add-On – because there’s a tool to add stuff right from the web page I’m on.

Do that and then you’ve got yourselves a killer Add-On.

Right now, all you’ve got is something that let’s people fast-track Social Networking.

The kind of thing comment spammers, link-baiters and gamers will luv…”

But in fairness to Chris Bennett, he replied and detailed the thinking behind the Add-On. And on the whole, it’s a good idea. However, the potential for misuse is significant.

So for the right-minded among you (or if you’re left-minded like me), something like this could be a significant time saver. But I’ve yet to try it myself. Maybe you guys could and report back?

When being Dugg’d doesn’t jive…

If you’re a ‘blogger, getting a front page hit on Digg can be a wonderful experience. However, what if the Digg Effect is no longer what it was?

“And, given that people (notably, some search engine marketeers) are essentially gaming Digg [1] [2] might we not see a time when just getting traffic from Digg is enough for the likes of Google to penalize someone, if search engines are able to establish a link (sort of web-based six 6 degrees of separation) between the submitter of the story on Digg and the recipient website or ‘blog.”

Well that’s sort of the way things have gone. And now, Google doesn’t like linkbait to be too successful:

“[A] friend spent $100,000 on linkbait creation and marketing. His site got exceptionally successful, aggressively grew for about a year, he hired a bunch of employees, then a leading Google engineer hand edited the site out of the search results.”

And finally!

At long last, Digg has finally got with the Social Networking thing and look set to bind their users and their friends more closely than ever before.

This morning has seen a flurry of activity, with people uncovering friends they never knew had befriended them, adding in their Social Media and Social Networking websites, personal ‘blogs et cetera, sending Shouts, adding Favorites and generally just diggin’ Digg…

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Heidi → Thursday, 20 September 2007 @ 16:58 BDT

I’ve not been an avid digger, I only signed up a month ago, but this looks to be more promising. Actually I dugg this using the Social Media add-on that you’d mentioned earlier. It’s convenient in that I can simply click on the Digg button at the bottom of Firefox now, though for some reason it opens in a new window instead of a new tab.

I installed in on my Dell and my Mac, but on the Dell the add-on caused a strange interference with my Movable Type admin panel. It caused the buttons to disappear from the pop-up window that comes up when I’m deleting multiple comments. When I removed the add-on those came back. On the Mac it caused no such interference. Odd, eh.

Wayne Smallman → Thursday, 20 September 2007 @ 17:35 BDT

So you’re using the Social Media Add-On, eh?

Nice.

Why not let the guys know about the bugs? I’m sure they’d be pretty receptive to some feedback.

Some of the senior Digg citizens have been making a noise about the new features.

I honestly cannot see the point of some of the arguments put forward.

For the likes of you & I, Digg might just be useful…

Heidi → Thursday, 20 September 2007 @ 20:40 BDT

Yep, I decided to give it a try, just because it could be used for evil doesn’t mean it might not be useful!

I think I’ll wait for the traffic to die down on Digg before reporting anything. I’ve now also gotten a few server is busy type errors. I expect it’s because everyone is on Digg at once checking out the new stuff.

Wayne Smallman → Thursday, 20 September 2007 @ 22:31 BDT

Yeah, a friend was seeing Digg running very slowly earlier today.

But I’ve had no problems…

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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