The Digg Community is in Turmoil

By Daniel Scocco

Yesterday there were some big changes on the Digg front. First the company took the site down for about an hour. Afterwards they announced on their blog that the algorithm was changed. Here is a quote from that announcement:

Just wanted to give everyone some insight into some of the changes we’ve been making this week. As we’ve talked about in the past, Digg’s promotional algorithm ensures that the most popular content dugg by a diverse, unique group of diggers reaches the home page. Our goal is to give each person a fair chance of getting their submission promoted to the home page.

It looks like that the algorithm will now make it harder for stories that get Dugg by the same group of people. I am not sure what will be the practical results of the change yet, but there is already a small revolt going on with the top Digg users.

On the post Two Diggs One Cup, Babblin5 states that:

Digg has pretty much taken a crap in a cup, and asked everyone, including even the top diggers, to partake in the offering. It now takes (barring a miracle, or a massive, collective pre-planned quick-strike diggfest), around 200 diggs to go popular, which leaves many (including me) to wonder… is Digg TRYING to drive away users, and if so, why?

The story went to the front page, and you can also read over 280 comments there.

Several other posts followed, pretty much on the same line, until Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson decided to join a live chat that other top Digg users were having. Tamar Weinberg did a nice coverage of that event.

Personally I think that the real results of this algorithm change will only be noticeable within one week or so. Before that time frame it is just hard to connect the dots and see any mathematical relationship between the events.

If nothing else this should signal that Digg is aware of the problems the system currently has, and it is trying to fix them, at the risk of upsetting some of their user base.

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19 Responses to “The Digg Community is in Turmoil”

  • Mohsin

    If they want stories to get around 200 diggs to get to the front page, they should also allow the stories to stay on the upcoming most popular page for longer than 24 hours. Otherwise Digg will go stale because of the outdated content on the front page.

  • Daniel

    Moshin, I am still seeing stories with 80 and 90 diggs break into the front page. But they are coming from average users.

    I will pay a closer look at top digg users, and how many votes their story need.

  • Anthony Lawrence

    The “top Digg users” are, in fact, the problem with Digg. By making it more difficult for them to game the system by block voting, Digg may be a more true representation of popularity.

    I haven’t looked yet to see what they’ve really done or what the effect will be, but it sounds to me like they are trying to move in the right direction and I applaude them for that.

  • the constant skeptic

    “The “top Digg users” are, in fact, the problem with Digg. By making it more difficult for them to game the system by block voting, Digg may be a more true representation of popularity.”

    totally agree with you there anthony… I am sick of the oligarchy on digg…. phooey on you ‘top users’

    let the revolution begin

  • Fat Kid Unleashed

    Digg is getting worse. Its the slowest web 2.0 site and the most spammed and ridiculous community.

    @Anthony

    The top diggers are a problem, but this new issue will basically put 99% of the front page in their control. Mr BabyMan will have 3-5 stories on there at anytime. No normal digger can get an article to the front page because the top diggers control the big news.

  • Ruchir

    We’ll have to wait and see I guess…

  • Daniel

    Fat Kid Unleashed, why you say that? As far as I can see the changes are working on the opposite direction.

  • Fat Kid Unleashed

    Daniel, if normal diggers find it hard to get on the front page now, its going to me 20 times harder for them now. That will leave the top diggers with the thousands of fans to easily control the front page. That’s what I mean.

  • john

    Maybe it will help normal diggers that don’t get 200 friends digging their stories in 20 minutes after they are submitted. Influential Diggers control Digg. Look at the front page and populars – always the same people – even though the same story might have been submitted hours earlier by a less popular person. Maybe it will create a bit more realistic site instead of a tool to promote 10 people.

  • Missy

    I know people who game it, and others who are always on the front page. Im always wondering how the heck they do it. I’ve never been able to get a piece of mine on the FP.

    I’ve read on diff forums something about proxies and IP, but im not a techy, so i have no idea what they’re talking about. But the point is people do game it, and its not the way it should be.

    Digg is just trying to clean it up (somewhat) and that’s a good thing, IMO.

  • Daniel

    Fat Kid, the change is working to make it easier for “casual” users to get stories on the front page, and harder for the top users.

    So looks like they are trying to make the system more democratic.

  • Manish

    Great post that would make digg a better place

  • Dave Starr — ROI Guy

    Can not believe the number of bloggers who normally have something of value to say spending their time on this Digg non-story.

    I’ve gotten many a good tip here, Daniel … so here’s one in return, for all bloggers interested being better bloggers, making more money, or both … ignore Digg and do something useful to your blog, your general writing skills, your relationship with your children .. or even take anap … better use of your time.

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