Follow up to Digg/Reddit debate

Wow, thanks to everyone who contributed comments to the previous post. I thought I’d summarize my responses and write a follow-up rather than clutter the comments section in that post. I’d also like to thank everyone on reddit who voted this up to the FP, kept it there for a good portion of the day, and made it one of the most hotly debated posts yesterday. A big thanks goes to those that dugg the story that did indeed get popular but was removed by the censor 40 minutes later (hmmm…).

First off, to all the haters I’d like to say that contrary to appearances, I love digg. Or rather, I loved digg. It’s because I care about the site and the community that I wrote the post in the first place. Yeah, I know it’s silly to take some dumb website personally, but I can’t help it, I do. I’ve spent a lot of hours on digg, so I feel like I have a right to an opinion, and good cause to be frustrated with the way things are right now.

Case in point, the previous post we’re discussing was dugg, and hit the front page for 40 minutes, and then got removed. Not buried, removed. Poof. This kind of censorship has long been discussed, and Kevin Rose’s response has been baffling, at the very least. 

Granted, is privately owned and managed. There is no law governing over it where it is required to “play fair”, in a manner we’d deem democratic or transparent. Basically, they don’t owe us anything. However, they were one of the first to sell themselves as an uncensored site that let its community decide what gets popular, and now it just seems like they are suffering from a serious case of talking-from-both-sides-of-their-mouth-itis. This is precisely what currently makes Reddit better. Open Source is more than just a catch phrase. It’s a commitment to transparency and equality within the community.

This, to me, seems to be of key importance to bringing about  a higher standard community news-site.

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Why I’m leaving Digg & focusing primarily on Reddit.

This is Digg’s popular page as of 15 minutes ago or so:


Seriously, what’s going on here?

In recent weeks, I’ve been comparing Digg to Reddit, and I must say, I feel reddit provides a much more solid community news engine than Digg.

Here’s a few points to consider:


· Same old content, constantly being regurgitated.

· Important news is not being displayed quickly enough (takes 50-150 diggs to get popular, by that time the news has already been broken in other outlets, ie: reddit).

· Terrible new recommendation engine – you don’t find what’s actually popular, you just find silly posts that aren’t relevant to your interests at all. For serious digg users that have many interests, it doesn’t add up at all. I understand it’s still in beta but the point is digg has way more important things to worry about than its upcoming section, which I thought was pretty good and I never really had any issues with it – If it ain’t broken don’t fix it!

· Blogspam. Need I say more?

· Once something gets popular it very rarely gets buried, as opposed to reddit, where the community will stream it out if it is blogspam or users trying to game the system.

· After checking, I found that power users (ie. msaleem, MakiMaki) have far too much influence – get to Front Page with stupid stories that seriously dilute the quality content digg should be all about. Get this:

  • Maki Maki – 8 FP stories, 70 submissions in 24 hours
  • Msaleem – 7 FP stories, 40 submissions in 24 hours – at this writing, he has 4 submissions that are popular on the Front Page at the same time.

On the other hand


· Open-Source – Always a plus, you can see how the engine works, and if you don’t like it, you can start your own!

· New, fresh content

· Constantly updated Front Page – every time you refresh reddit, FP is updated.

· Easier to get on the Front Page – Unlike digg, where 50% of FP material is submitted by the top 30 users (less than 1% of all digg users), if you have quality content and submit it, it will likely find its way to the Reddit FP.

· Alternative news sources instead of the usual sources diggers are obsessed with (ie: arstechnica, huffington post)

· No Apple fanboys (yeah, okay, maybe a few)

· Featured random upcoming story – On the Reddit FP, at the top pf the page there is a box which shows you a random upcoming story so automatically your submission gets some exposure, even if it’s for just a few seconds.

· Comment quality – reddit comments tend to be extremely funny at times and the comment system is better overall as higher rated comments get sent to the top of the page unlike in digg.

· More content on the Front Page – due to its simple and basic design, it is possible to scroll through many different stories on reddit on the FP.

· Longer title capacity

· There’s no diggnation podcast where 2 drunken egotistical idiots that wield way too much power sit around, drink beer, laugh at their own pathetic jokes and make comments that would make an 8 year old child who just took a bat to the head proud. Okay, maybe that was a bit mean, but come on. Get over yourselves, people.

I think the choice is clear.

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