What is this Digg thing?

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Image by matterk via Flickr

Once upon a time there was this thing called television, and one of its jobs was to deliver News and information about the world into the homes and minds of the populace.  For a long time it did this job, but then came the internet and it proved to be a better way to get News out there.  The problem was that there was so much News.

One day a young entrepreneur, Kevin Rose, having nothing more than a sense of cool and some money decided that he needed to do something with his life and settled on world domination (probably not true).  He knew that there was too much news, and being in the tech media, that there was no good way to access the good technology news.  The mainstream media controlled the time on the air, and kittens, war and sex scandals rated better.  So he started Digg.com.

Digg is the epitome of a social News web service.  It started out as a technology News website, but because of its very nature of being controlled by the users, has turned into one of the best independent news aggregates on the web.  I have been using Digg for a number of years, and it tends to be my main source of news.  But when I refer to it, many haven't seen it or know what it is.  So here comes a basic run down to diggin on Digg.com.

User Controlled

If you're going to come up with a online business, start one where the users do the work for you.  The news on Digg is submitted by the users and promoted by the users and censored by the users.  Now in the beginning, most of the users were tech, following Kevin, or just found the site a great source of tech news.  But as its popularity has grown, there is an amazing cross section of users and news, giving a truckload of variety and information.

This submitting is done by finding links on the net and then submitting them to Digg.com.  The news can come from the mainstream media or some guy's blog in Australia.  The only criteria is that the Digger finds the information interesting and wants to share.

Sorting the mess

When you have an odd million people using your service, there is a little bit of variety in the news posted.  Also Digg's strength, user control, is also its downfall as it can suffer from a wash of political items during an election, and celebrity gossip when a new sex tape is dropped.  Almost makes me long for the early days of geek control where it was all tech news and benchmarks on the video cards.

The user settings has matured to cope with these problems, allowing you to customise the news the site will display for you.  Just by ticking and un-ticking, you can break down the submissions to the information you need/want.  And this is what we want, as who has time to read all the stuff that is out there?

Digg.com is a great site to have in your bookmarks, or maybe your browsers home page, as it can be used to open your eyes to the world, and as a resource for thought for the day.  Digg.com is also a example of the power of the internet, as it can give a voice to the nobody and sometimes that is the voice we need to hear.

Well, that is Digg.com, worth checking out if you haven't already.  Other sites that are also worth a look are StumbleUpon, Google Reader, reddit, and del.icio.us.

Jason Remnant

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