Exploring The Dynamics of The Digg Effect

Voting for or against links and stories posted on Digg has popularized the term “Digg it”, which extends it to even those that are yet to visit the site, the reputation of this social news website precedes it, with thousands of stories being pumped in on a daily basis.

Exceptional articles enjoying many ‘Diggs’ can qualify to appear on the fiercely competitive Digg front page, the system employed by the social news platform has had prompted the mushrooming of replicas and ‘black market’ marketers (e.g, Subvert and Profit), tapping in on the virgin online social news market.

The roots of the phenomenon lie in the ground breaking experiment conducted by the insightful Jay Adelson, Ron Gorodetsky, Owen Byrne and Kevin Rose, it all started with an ad free beta version. Today it features Google Adsense and has various categories which include science, technology, videos, gaming and business, etc.

The influx of submissions that can aptly be referred to as the Digg rush, helped coin another related term – the “digg effect”, which refers to fact that although a good number of stories are featured on the book marking site, the real traffic bloat occurs on the source site.

Despite claims of a pending sale of the site to potential buyers such as Google, nothing concrete was finalized, instead Digg took a strategic injection of funds from Highland Capital Partners.

And more recently Digg joined forces with another cyber space giant in the form of Facebook, the alliance brought to life a new feature called Facebook Connect which enables millions of users of both social sites to inter connect their accounts, this translates to a capacity for users to link articles that can be shown on user’s alternate pages, including logging in using a Facebook account on Digg.

The Digg Dialogg is a feature enabling users to pose questions to a famous individual that will be used by a reporter in an interview with the pre-selected luminary. As with most public orientated services criticism is never faraway as discontent was raised regarding the user moderation technique which is often corrupted with sensationalism and misinformation.

While some unhappy members of the Digg community pointed out that the site’s operators exercise excessive control over the selection of articles appearing on the highly competitive front page, and the risk posed by companies paying for stories appearing on the site.

The bury option has also been viewed as undemocratic due to anonymity of persons performing the burying act, which sometimes attracts biased criticism or fraternized burying. Some users have been grouping up to form notorious “Bury Brigades” aimed at deliberately undermining certain articles they dislike.