Friday, March 09, 2007

The Digg Effect

The Digg website was launched just over two years ago on December 5th, 2004, and now boasts having some one million users. For those of you who have never heard of Digg, it's a community-based website where members can submit news stories for the community's consideration, vote for the stories that they consider newsworthy, and "bury" the stories that they don't like. In close conjunction with the advent of the blogosphere, Digg has emerged as an alternative news source where stories that would otherwise remain obscure become headline news.

While following the trail of bread crumbs that is the blogosphere, I started noticing that many of the stories I was following were becoming very prominent on Digg. I also noticed that many prominent bloggers attributed their blogging success to "being Dugg," and I immediately thought of how quickly a story could rise to prominence on the World Wide Web by being "Slashdotted." The two concepts share much in common, but the initial seed for a Slashdot story must be planted by the powers that be at Slashdot, and there is no way to formally vote on a Slashdot story to make it more popular.

After voting on a number of stories on Digg, I finally decided to post my own. As of this writing, my story has 16 Diggs and is ranked third in popularity out of some 260 "up and coming" stories under the category political opinion, and (based on my observations of the Digg system) it still has over 3 hours to become the most popular up and coming story. Now the question is whether the powers that be at Digg will decide to "make it popular." If they do, then my ISP will have to make sure that I do not become a victim of the Digg effect.

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