Digg

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Digg is a social news website where people discover and share content including news and video from anywhere on the web. From popular online destinations to the obscure blogs, Digg surfaces the best stories as voted on by its users. Digg does not edit its content. Instead, users collectively submit, review and comment articles or links. The more positive votes an article receives, or "Diggs", the more likely a an article makes it to the front page. The more negative votes, or a vote to "bury", the less likely.[1]

History


Digg.com was founded in 2004 by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson. Development started in October for the website, and was released on December 5th, 2004. The team is now led by CEO Jay Adelson, who is also the founder of the company Equinix. Today all of the original founders except Owen Bryne actively manage the website. They named the site "Digg" instead of "Dig" because the domain name "dig.com"
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Early Version of Digg
had been previously registered by the Walt Disney Internet Group.

The original site was designed by Dan Ries and had no advertisements. As Digg grew more popular Google Adsense was added to the website. Digg updated its website to "Version 2.0" in 2005, designed by the web design company Silverorange. This version featured a new site layout, a friends list and other features. Again in 2006 the site was updated to "Version 3.0". This version added specific categories for items for Technology, Science, World & Business, Videos, Entertainment, and Gaming, as well as a View All section that enabled the user to view all sections at once. In August 2007, Digg again updated its main interface, mostly in the profile area. According to a 2008 survey, Digg.com recieves at least 236 million visitors annually.[2]

Process


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To join the Digg community, all you need to do is
fill out a simple registration form that only asks for a valid E-mail address and for your date of birth. After that is done, it is required to accept a verification request sent to your E-mail address to finalize the registration process. Once you have completely registered you are now an official member of the Digg community. This enables you now to not only read great articles, but you may now also submit links to a new article that you found yourself. There are 8 categories, each with their own set of sub-categories, on the Digg website that you can set your submission as. These categories help the community search through different sections of the website to search for an article related to what they are looking for. These categories include: Technology, World & Business, Lifestyle, Offbeat, Sports, Science, Entertainment, and Gaming.
Registering with Digg also offers other features like allowing members to post comments on the articles that they are reading. This is very helpful and useful as it allows readers to view multiple points of view on one article. Member comments really allows readers to see "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of an article. There is also a friends list feature on the website. This is a great way for users to interact on the website and it also enables others to view what their friends dugg.[3,4]

Impact and Applications


diggfriends.jpgThrough diversified and customizable RSS feeds, connections with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social computing, Digg pushes and pulls content around the web, exposing it to many people. This has a social bookmarking effect. Digg exploits the "wisdom of mobs" to highlight what stories and events most interests internet users.[5] This democratic editing contrasts strongly with traditional news media, who assigns editorial control to one person or a small team. It results in the public deciding what is news worthy.

Digg also has its own social networking capabilities. Users can befriend each other and monitor what they read and watch.[6] This helps filter and push current information on relevant topics to the user, personalizing their news. Further, they can comment on stories and rate each other's comments.

Digg has turned into a great and very efficient marketing tool for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs receive the benefit of Digg putting out information about their ideas and innovations to the public to read and discuss. This can be very helpful to the entrepreneur because a lot of "early adopters" look through and religiously read the articles on Digg every day. These "early adopters" may then take steps toward investing in the entrepreneur's idea.[7]

Criticism


Digg has come under criticism for varying reasons. Most complaints are centered on the site's form of user-moderation: users have too much control over content, allowing sensationalism and misinformation to thrive. The site has also suffered the risk of companies paying for stories submitted to the site, similar to the phenomenon of company-attempted Google Bombing. Other critics feel that the site's operators may exercise too much control over which articles appear on the front page as well as the comments on Digg's forums. Some users complain that they have been blocked from posting, and their accounts disabled, for making comments in the user-moderated forums that conflict with the personal interests of Digg's operators.The existence of the "bury" option has also been criticized as undemocratic and due to its anonymous unaccountable nature. Detractors claim it often leads to suppression of criticism of hotbed topics that do not mesh with the prevailing view of the community, which has been characterized as liberal or left-leaning. Another criticism in this area has been how a faulty or misleading article can reach many users quickly, blowing out of proportion the unsupported claims or accusations . Certain Digg users have been accused of operating a "Bury Brigade" that tags articles with which they disagree as spam, thus attempting to bury stories critical of Digg.[8]

Terminology


Digg: Members of the community determine the popularity of an item by "digging" the stuff that they like best. Digging history is also saved and can be viewed by the user or other users.
Bury: Stories that have bad links, off-topic content, or duplicate entries are what users will "bury". This gets rid of spam and other unwanted stories.

Web Resources and Citations


1. http://digg.com/about/
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digg
3. http://www.silverorange.com/a/portfolio/digg
4. http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/beginners-guide-to-digg.html
5. http://mashable.com/2006/01/10/digg-and-the-so-called-wisdom-of-mobs/
6. http://blogs.zdnet.com/web2explorer/index.php?p=108
7. http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/beginners-guide-to-digg.html
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digg