Digg, Reddit, etc.. What’s up with all these?

Armed with the advice of a fellow blogger, I was playing around at the Digg and lesser known Reddit sites and even submitted a couple of my post URLs just to experiment with it. After a while, I began to wonder why and how this is so popular. First, none (absolutely none at the time of this writing) of the blogs I read have a Digg link in their feed, even master blogger Cote, which makes it tough to vote (i.e. “digg”) a particular story without a plugin installed on one’s browser. I’ve concluded that I must be missing something about how this works, because it seems like very few people would be motivated to flip over the Digg site, copy in an interesting URL and watch it grow in popularity. I realize Digg is a competitor to del.icio.us and Reddit, but is it necessary to include easy links to all these? So, what am I missing?

Strangely enough, while writing this post, Brandon asked me to “digg” a URL he submitted. The story received a few Diggs and then slowed down. So, I added the Digg RSS feed to Bloglines and started to read the stories. In general, they appear to be random stories which the Digg world has voted as popular, but it seems like this will be a hard feed to monitor, mostly because the stories are so random. In fact, the voting system seems self-feeding as popular URLs will only get more popular because they are making it to the top of this list and therefore getting more face time.

After clicking on one stories from the Digg feed, I finally found a cool feature worth considering, the comments on a particular URL. This essentially turns any URL on the Internet into a blog-like entry where anyone can comment on it independently of the home site for the URL. It was interesting to see the comments, but like a lot of other blog comments with such a large audience, quite a few were belligerent or spam. I’ll continue to monitor my new RSS feed and start “digging” a few URLs. Hopefully, I’ll catch the fever of this social content site and find some use for it.

4 thoughts on “Digg, Reddit, etc.. What’s up with all these?

  1. For me, Digg and Del.icio.us are very different. I use del.icio.us to save anything I think is interesting and may want to find later. I only digg stories that I think there would be wide interest in. I like Digg since it returns the editorial power to the people. The Digg technology page has replaced Slashdot in my reader. My 2 cents.

  2. Brandon: Thanks for the differentiation. Yes, I agree they have different uses; however, I’m sure the del.icio.us team would prefer you to subscribe to their hotlist over the Digg front page, if a choice had to be made. For me, I feel motivated to tag URL in del.icio.us because I get instant benefit; however, I’m not sure what I’m really gaining by “digging” other’s URLs.

  3. I didn’t think anyone ever added my stuff either until I went to add one of my blog posts, trying to generate a little extra traffic, and someone had already added it to Digg. It was very flattering for a small-timer like myself. 🙂

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