Ever since I’ve heard about Digg I was trying to figure out what is it about this social networking site that created such a buzz in the blogging world. So I’ve set up an account for myself over a year ago and tried to dig this site. I’m sorry to say but I just couldn’t get all that excited about it, except perhaps on one occasion, when a post with the final results from my first group writing project on Sources of Inspiration was dugg to the front page.
At first I eagerly started reading different how-to articles about Digg, checked out their cool labs, watched the incoming posts change with the speed of light, studied a few profiles. But after a few days I abandoned Digg for quite some time, only to come back to it occasionally. Then I started getting some shouts from friends, digging the recommended posts and the articles that I found interesting on the Web. But I still couldn’t understand what motivates some digg users to spend countless hours digging the web in search for some digg-worthy pages and build their profiles?
I still can’t comprehend that drive. Can you? There are a few other things that I can’t understand about Digg:
1. Duplicate Submission
How difficult is it to check whether the submitting URL has already been stored in Digg’s database? Why is it every time when I digg a new post, I have to go through a list of previous submissions only because Digg “suspects” that my story has already been dugg before? How come I don’t have to go through that additional checkup with StumbleUpon – whenever I give thumbs up to a page that hasn’t appeared on SU before, I get prompted to fill out the details, otherwise I don’t have to do any extra clicking – that page got my stumble.
2. Limited Categories
Is it so hard to add more categories to Digg? What if the article I’m digging is on Social Media, what category should I pick for it? It doesn’t belong under the Design, nor under News or Technology or Education, or is it? I’m not suggesting to duplicate all hundred categories from StumbleUpon, but a more intuitive approach to classification is in order, don’t you think?
3. Deadly Traffic
I have to admit I had an exhilarating experience watching the incoming traffic numbers when my post here got dugg. Fortunately my server had no problems handling it. Most other sites do crash under the digg-attack. But it’s not all about the numbers. Compared to the traffic from other social networking sites (stumbleupon, del.icio.us, reddit in particular), Digg’s traffic is dead after only a couple of days, RSS feed count drops back as fast as it jumps high, digg users hardly stay on the site longer than it takes them to scan the article.
And all the effort it requires to reach Digg’s front page to get that traffic? On average it takes over a hundred diggs for the article to get dugg to the top. If you take into an account all those hurdles an article has to go through to get those coveted diggs, you may start wondering – shouldn’t I just concentrate on my readers who favour StumbleUpon, since even their ten thumbs up will already bring me a nice quality steady traffic from StumbleUpon?
4. Belittling Comments
I absolutely cannot grasp the purpose of those cynical and insulting comments on Digg. Once again compared to the reviews on StumbleUpon it’s like all the Hydes are gathered together over at Digg, while Dr. Jekylls prefer to hang out and express their thoughts on StumbleUpon.
Did you also notice that strange effect when the more negative comments a submission gets, the more diggs it receives?
5. Unwritten Rules
The things I hate the most about the digg are all those unofficial rules that spread all over the Web: rules like “don’t submit your own posts to Digg”, or “if you digg one article, you should stay on the site a bit longer and digg some other submissions”. Why is it that every post published on Digg’s Blog by Kevin Rose gets thousands of diggs? Why is it that after awhile all Digg headlines start resembling each other, and still bloggers get advice on how to come up with the titles that would attract Digger’s attention?
6. Digg Toolbar anyone?
One of the things I like about StumbleUpon is how easy it is to stumble a post or browse for other stumbled posts. Whoever designed that StumbleUpon bar was usability genius. How come that nobody has come up with a similar toolbar for Digg? There are several add-ons, and that Google Gadget for digg, but none of them are as intuitive and simple to use as SU.
I’ve recently installed two Firefox add-ons for Digg: Smart Digg Button and Digg Firefox Extension. The first one adds either the number of diggs for the current page on Firefox status bar or the words Digg This and takes you to Digg to submit that story. The second one adds a separate section for Digg in the Firefox menu bar, with some extra options like seeing the recent comments, diggers, or the top stories. In either cases I have to be logged in to Digg to cast my vote, unlike with StumbleUpon that logs me on SU whenever I launch my browser.
7. What’s the reward?
What is so rewarding to be part of Digg’s elite – Top 100 diggers? If it’s all about power and recognition, is it really worth it? To me the status of top diggers resembles the one of a celebrity who gets bombarded by paparazzi and fans who want a piece of that star light: everyone all of sudden wants to befriend the top digger and start sending shouts, or simply copying every move he makes. What’s so rewarding about that?
8. What’s with the obsession?
And why so many of us are still obsessed with Digg? With so many new social networking sites on the horizon, how long will that obsession and Digg itself last? What is it that you like about Digg? Is there anything that you don’t like about it? How do you benefit from being active on Digg? How do you stay active on Digg?
I would love to read your thoughts about Digg. You can either share them in the comments below or whip up an article and submit to the Social Media Mega Project. Oh, and if you would like to befriend me on Digg, feel free to do so. Perhaps together we’ll be able to dig Digg better.