Digg Releases ‘Newswire’ To Help Promote Breaking Stories

A long time favorite news aggregation site of marketers, Digg has released a new service titled 'Newswire.' This new service will help users both find and break upcoming news and is the first time that Digg is showing who 'buried' an article since the release of Digg Version 4. Newswire will essentially fast-track an article to the homepage of Digg, but will also give users more power to regulate upcoming stories. Other features of Newswire include customizable sorting and displays that can be tailored to each user and an in-page update system.  The updating system operates much like [...]

Social Voting Sites Dying & Struggling

It's been a rough week for two of the bigger players in the social voting space. Propeller, an AOL-owned property that grew out of the old Netscape website, has announced on its home page that the site is shutting down on October 1st. The change was spotted by Search Engine Watch. Propeller was pitched as a challenger to Digg's throne. But that never materialized. Its home page is currently filled with submitted stories that only have one or two votes, many of which are spammy content about ATV rentals, plumbing, loans, and carpet services. Meanwhile, the king of social news/voting [...]

New Digg (v4) Goes Live

After a couple months of beta testing with invited Digg members, the new version of Digg -- they're calling it "v4" for Version 4 -- is now live and open to all. Digg founder Kevin Rose announced it here, but that blog post is down as I write this. In that announcement, Rose says the new Digg is a major revision of the site's front-end and back-end, and promises ongoing changes and new features. Rose says that the new Digg is faster -- to submit content, vote for content, etc. more personal -- members can use a custom "My News" home page to see activity from other members they fol [...]

Digg To Shut Down Its Toolbar, Unban Domains

SEOs (and probably a lot of others, too) are celebrating with today's news that Digg will shutter its toolbar and unban all previously banned domains. Digg's new CEO, Kevin Rose, says the changes will happen with the upcoming relaunch of Digg.com. The DiggBar launched almost exactly a year ago, and was immediately met with criticism from publishers who didn't like their content being framed, and from search marketers who pointed out that it robbed sites of credit for inbound links. Digg later changed how the DiggBar works in response to these criticisms, but in his announcement today, Rose [...]

Google’s What’s Popular Gadget: The Next Digg Clone?

Steve Rubel reports that Google has released a new iGoogle Gadget named What's Popular. The gadget looks like a small little Digg clone to me. Here is a screen capture: As you can see, you can mark up or down a story and it shows the number of "pops" next to the story, plus when it was first added. You can even submit your own stories and keep track of your submissions and "my pops." If you maximize the gadget, you can further filter the stories. Here is a screen capture: I wonder if this will catch on? We remember when AOL turned Netscape into a Digg clone and it failed. [...]

Digg Now Buries Microsoft Ads

ClickZ reports Digg has dropped Microsoft as the exclusive ad provider for the site. Microsoft ads started appearing on Digg in October 2007 after Digg and Microsoft made the deal in July. Prior, Digg used Google AdSense ads to monetize the site. Then Digg dropped Google for Microsoft ads and now, it appears Digg will sell ads directly, and continue to use Microsoft ads for open inventory. The Digg/Microsoft partnership was suppose to last until the summer 2010. Bring the ad management in house will allow Digg to explore more revenue models and create custom ads, that are outside of t [...]

The DiggBar Compromise: Show Framebar Only To Logged In Digg Users

Digg is promising a significant change to how its DiggBar framebar operates, one that should solve SEO concerns about how link credit is passed on but won't entirely remove misgivings about the framing of content. With the new implementation scheduled for next week, only those who are logged into Digg will see the DiggBar. So if you click on a DiggBar URL from Twitter, you won't see the DiggBar unless you've already been to Digg and have a logged in status. Just having a Digg cookie won't be enough, Digg cofounder Kevin Rose told me when we talked about the new implementation yesterd [...]

The Growth Of Framebars & Kevin Rose On The DiggBar

The DiggBar has been out for about a week now. Since then, there continues to be concerns over twin issues of whether it robs sites of link love and frames their contents in a way that's unfair to publishers. I had a good conversation with Digg cofounder Kevin Rose today about these issues and how Digg is actively looking at ways to solve worries over the tool. For those unfamiliar with the DiggBar, it allows people to create a short URL that's useful in services like Twitter. Anyone clicking on a shortened URL made through Digg gets to a page with a DiggBar at the top. For example, [...]

Digg To Expand With $28.7 Million In Funding

Jay Anderson from Digg announced that the company has received $28.7 million in new funding through Highland Capital Partners. This new funding will enable Digg to expand their operations and hire more help for that expansion. Digg hopes to be able to use these funds to: Improve their infrastructure Expand internationally Hire more staff Personalize the Digg experience Enhance the recommendation system And more features... [...]

Rumor: Google To Buy Digg For $200 Million?

There are ways in which Digg is like YouTube: it's the "brand" in a competitive "social news" segment that also features Yahoo Buzz, AOL's Propeller, MySpace News, Reddit, Ask Big News and, by some counts, more than 80 others. Similarly, YouTube was the "brand" in a crowded video segment when Google acquired the company. Digg has more or less been for sale for months and rumors have been circulating that either Google or Microsoft would buy the company. Now TechCrunch is reporting that Digg is close to selling for $200 million to Google. That compares with the originally rumored $300 millio [...]

Why Commercial Domains Don’t Get On Digg Any More

Last year I wrote a post called 5 Reasons To Put Viral Content On Mini-Sites, providing reasons why you might opt to use a mini-site rather than keeping all the content on your main domain. One of the reasons was because content might not spread due to your domain. Even though mini-sites doesn't always make sense from an SEO standpoint, it's now getting to the point where they're a must if you want to keep linkbaiting with your commercial domains. You see, commercial domains just won't work on Digg anymore. Sure, you can fire off a successful linkbait piece or even two if you're lucky, but [...]

Yahoo Buzz: Next Digg Competitor

Valleywag has screen captures of a new Yahoo web site, reportedly launching February 26th, named Yahoo Buzz Beta. Yahoo Buzz will be similar to Digg, but will start only with 100 sites allowed into the system. After the initial beta period, all sites that are accepted into the Yahoo Publisher Network will be allowed to be added to Yahoo Buzz. By looking at the screen captures, it appears that each article is given a "buzz score." The buzz score seems to be generated by users clicking a "buzz it" icon. In addition, on the right side of Yahoo Buzz stories are recent "Top Searches," which a [...]

Digg Updates Algorithm – Digg Community Revolts

Two days ago, Digg went down for a short while while changes were being implemented in the system. While nothing was immediately apparent, Brent Csutoras noticed some slight changes, and after several hours, a bigger trend emerged: the algorithm had changed and you needed a lot more votes to hit the front page of Digg. Brent says: At 5:12 pm PST, about 7 1/2 hours after Babblin5 submitted the post Two Diggs One Cup made it to the front page of digg. It took 156 diggs with 33 comments for the article to make it, something it would have taken less than 100 to do a week ago. In response, [...]

7 Tips To Win The Social News Beauty Pageant

How can you increase your chances of appealing to an average Digger, Stumbler, or other social media user, and actually get them to vote for your content? Consider this quote from John Maynard Keynes, British born economist responsible for Keynesian economics, who explains how markets work by making an analogy to a beauty contest: "It is not a case of choosing those [faces] which, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those which average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating wh [...]

From Browser To Digg Clone: The Short, Unhappy Life Of Netscape

Netscape has been reinvented several times since its acquisition by AOL in November 1998 -- and all of these efforts have essentially failed. In addition to a browser, the Netscape brand had been associated with a portal and discount dial-up ISP (and still is) before Jason Calacanis turned the site into a Digg clone in late 2006. In retrospect, TechCrunch says, the Calacanis effort was a failure. (Calacanis left AOL in November, 2006 and launched Mahalo in May, 2007.) TechCrunch reports comScore numbers that chronicle 2007 as a year of traffic in decline for Netscape as a "social voting" site [...]

Report: Digg Wants To Sell For $300 Million (Or More)

It's now basically public information that social news site Digg is shopping itself. VentureBeat cites a "reliable source" in saying the company has hired private investment firm Allen & Company to sell Digg. However, the site has apparently been on the block for many months (or longer). TechCrunch has a history of the sale rumors. With the massive $15 billion Facebook valuation and overheated predictions of ad spending on social media sites, Digg management and investors are apparently looking to get out sooner rather than later -- and preempt the market for acquisitions (at inflated prices [...]

Digg Adds Images Tab, New Taxonomy, & More

The Digg Blog announced several additions and changes that went live on Digg last night. The first is the addition of an image tab to the top of Digg's main categories. With this addition, Digg has changed how their taxonomy works. Now you can submit news, images, or videos to any category within Digg. So now you can view only sport images by clicking on images and then the sports category. In addition, Digg broke out the "Offbeat" category on its own. And they have added a new "Lifestyle" category with sub-topics for "Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel." They also added a new image cra [...]

It’s The (Other) Algorithm, Stupid! Understanding DiggRank

Have you ever wondered what it really takes for a story submitted to Digg to get to the home page? Or why a certain story—even a really good, social media friendly story—never got to the home page? I'm frequently asked the question, "Hey, my story has [number] of Diggs but it still hasn't been promoted to the home page. Any idea what's wrong?" And, relatively less frequently, I hear someone saying in amazement, "Wow, all it took was 29 Diggs and that story rocketed to the home page!" I'm always tempted to reply "It's the algorithm, stupid!" Digg has an algorithm? Yes, just as Pag [...]

You’ve Made Digg – Now What?

When you work with Digg, reddit, and the like, you want to get the POP: getting your content to a coveted spot on the homepage. Getting the pop can be difficult— social news users are wary of ulterior motives and will sometimes bury your wonderful content before it can see the light of day. So, we do lots of things to make our sites look less commercial (such as removing ads, calls to action, and other overt "selling" signs). If you get past those barriers and your content has made the homepage of Digg or Reddit and is attracting links like crazy, your page now has juice and will get [...]

US Candidates Hit Digg, Fail To “Get” The Social News Site

Digg The Candidates is a new area on Digg that allows you to see what US presidential candidates are digging and doing on Digg. That's right, you can check out what Barack Obama (with about 3,200 Digg friends) and Ron Paul (with about 6,000 friends) are up to. But is it really the candidates doing things or just their staffers trying to make them look hip? Looks like the latter. Below, a tour of the pretty disappointing performance of candidates hitting the Digg campaign trail. Digg's post about the new area makes it seem like the candidates themselves are on the scene: We’ve reached ou [...]

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