The New Digg Features Plus, A Submitter’s Perspective

Today, Kevin Rose announced the release of new Digg features. What most people covered in the release were all the cool additions, but no one really talked about the small changes that have drastically affected submitters. Before I dig into these small changes that affected submitters, here is a quick recap of the new features that everyone is talking about:

  1. Digg is now made for big widescreen monitors. If you have a large monitor the site will now adjust the content so you can make use of your entire screen.
     
  2. Each section on Digg now has a top 10 story listing on the right side. This area shows you the hottest 10 stories on Digg even if they are not on the homepage anymore.
     
  3. Because the video section did so well when version 3 was launched, they decided to create a separate section for it. They are also using fancy javascript which allows you to now watch videos on Digg so you don’t have to go to the actual source to watch them.
     
  4. In the last few years the growth of podcasting has been phenomenal. Due to this Digg decided to add a podcasts section where users can submit podcasts and vote on them. At the current moment this feature is only available to registered users.

Now that you know all the details that the Digg crew decided to share with you, here are some the other changes that they did not talk about:

Digg Friends: You Can No Longer See Your "Friends"

The Digg friends feature is the main way people are gaming the system. Users friend each other on Digg and digg each others’ stories, which makes it easy for users to get stories to the homepage.

Before on Digg, you could see all the users that made you a friend, so you could make sure to friend them back and vote on all of their submissions. In this recent update, they took that feature out. Now you can friend people, but you can’t see who has added you as a friend.

This was probably removed to help stop gaming of the system and to stop new users from creating accounts and becoming a top 100 user in 30 days. The downside of this is that it will keep the top users up there and also make it much harder to out perform them.

Postscript: The friends feature will go back to the old style; Digg has said it was left off by mistake.

Top Users

Before it seemed that there was more emphasis on the top users. Now it seems that Digg is trying to steer visitors away from that section by moving the top users link to the footer area instead of where it used to be in the sidebar. Although the top users will probably still control Digg, this small change may change that perception of many of the average users have.

New Voting System & Podcasts Ordered By Most Votes, Rather Than Latest, Greatest

Kevin Rose made a video that covers many of the new features he released. One of the things he went over is the podcasts section and how it works, but if you look closely it seems that the voting system for the podcasting section is different. The whole purpose of Digg is to see what is new and the latest and greatest, but with the voting scheme of the podcasts section it seems that the same podcasts might end up staying at the top for a prolonged period of time. Maybe they did this because they don’t feel enough new podcasts come out that are hits. This new voting system for the podcast section might be a hint of some ways that Digg might change their normal voting system.

Keeping Users On Digg

The new video section is great for users because it allows them to watch videos on Digg, but it is not great for websites that host the videos. YouTube wants people to go to their site so they can increase their pageviews and ad revenue; this change keeps users on Digg and away from the websites hosting the videos. By doing this, they also may be reducing the temptation for marketers to leverage Digg for their viral video campaigns because less people will go to the marketer’s website.

Overall the new Digg is a good improvement because it should improve the quality of content on Digg and help stop new users from spamming. So far, the reactions from users have been positive, but once they realize all the changes and how these changes really affects them, it will be interesting to see if they change their minds.

Postscript From Danny: See also Up Close With Digg Podcasts (& Vote For The Daily SearchCast!) now up from me, taking a closer look at the podcast feature.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Search Engines: Digg | Search Engines: News Search Engines | Search Engines: Podcast Search Engines | Search Engines: Social Search Engines | Search Engines: Video Search Engines

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  • http://www.seobrien.com seobrien

    I can’t speak highly enough for the clean design and improved usability. Unfortunately, I’m still frustrated by the lack of appropriate categorization. Why is there a category for Apple? Sure, it is popular but then why not Tivo, Motorola, or HP? Can they not better organize “Web” content?

  • Neil Patel

    SEObrien, the way Digg categorizes stories is not perfect, but I actually think they are doing a good job. Granted they have the category Apple and not Tivo, but if you look at what people submit, those stories usually fit nicely into those categories. If they start adding more categories it will make the site bloated a lot less usable.

  • http://www.thenapkin.com zkatkin

    I have been using Digg since its first incarnation (although I only recently became a registered user) and this latest version is the easiest to use and navigate. The redesign team did a fantastic job of keeping what was great about the old versions, incorporating new elements, and giving it an updated look. This update is not merely cosmetic.

    Neil, as much as I respect your site, and advice, I agree with SEObrien, Apple as a category is inappropriate. As a former Apple user, I know how phenomenal Apple products can be, and how desperate their users are to promote this fact. Despite the enthusiastic users and the number of posts, Apple as a category does not make hierarchical sense! :p

  • http://www.firstranked.com Marshall Clark

    Hi Neil,

    It looks like Digg has just opened up the Podcasts section to viewing by non-registered users. The program is still in beta and the Digg API still won’t work with the podcast story URLs, but it’s an improvement.

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