Digg is Slashdot's Death Knell

by Steve Mallett

Related link: Digg is Slashdot's Death Knell



Frankly good riddance. Don't get me wrong I was a faithful slashdot user, but digg has everything right that slashdot has had wrong.

Hidden submissions. While everyone agrees that a filter to the front page is a good idea it does leave the question of whether the stories are legitimately refused. I'm sure most are legit, but...

User moderated stories. Slashdot has a 'flavor'. The editor's. That's cool. It is their site after all, but people obviously prefer their own flavor. If you don't like digg's flavor who's to blame?

The biggest boon of the open backend is that you don't have to wait to see that big story to approved by moderation if you don't want to.

Comments. Flat threads appear to retard flamewars. You can also complete ignore some users. This was a feature if Kuro5hin originally I think.

One hole I see that will be improved, no doubt, going forward is that often there are users voting for stories liking the headline and not actually knowing enough about niche topics to tell if the story is actually worth voting for. People still like to judge a book by its cover.

All that being said I predict a big year ahead for Digg, not that that is hard to do, and tough times ahead for not just slashdot, but many editorially top-down websites.


29 Comments

roger69
2006-01-06 13:29:09
I'm still not impressed
The signal/noise ratio on Slashdot has always been high, but having a limited amount of editors who can post at least limits most of the noise to comments.


Digg doesn't yet have a solution for that problem. I subscribed to digg's RSS feed for a while, but there were so many stories I was uninterested in that I just gave up. Where Slashdot might give me 20 RSS articles in one day, most days with digg were at least twice that or more.


So for me, the editorial filter at Slashdot and other news sites is of great benefit, and I have yet to see a better alternative.

macrat
2006-01-06 13:35:57
Nothing special
Digg's RSS feed gets flooded all day with random garbage. Much of which I've already seen on the news feeds.


While there might be more comment noise on Slashdot, at least it is organized into threads that I can scan if I want to.


I have yet to see any value in Digg and I predict I will have to purge it from my RSS reader soon.

FiZ
2006-01-06 14:02:52
Give and take
Honestly, I do enjoy digg far more than Slashdot, and I was a faithful /.er (and would still like to be), but you've got something entirely out of perspective:


It's true that flat comment structure may help, but it kills any attempt to converse. Believe it or not, there were actually conversations on /. besides the regular juvenille 'M$ vs. OSS' battles. However, on Digg, I find it nearly impossible to say anything akin to a talking point. The only reason I check the the comments is to see if the bulleted one-liners have other useful links/lame alerts.


I've tried commenting and have had my comments knocked off the board when I was trying to make a point like everyone else. Here's how I see it: /. and Digg both a lot of juvenille moderators, but it doesn't seem as if Digg has a solid enough system to let anyone stem the tide of a few angsty readers.


The other problem I have with the comparrison is about people digging stories without really knowing enough about the topic...


As they say in Slashdot "You must be new here", and I mean that about both sites. Any /.er should be able to look at your comment on this and draw a startling comparrison to all the RTFAs on Slashdot. Same idea, different site from your perspective, but this is how I see it. Digg isn't just a news site, it's also kind of like a bookmarking site. If I see something that catches my attention that I want to read later, I'll digg it so I can read it at my convenience. If it happens that I don't like the story after all, I go back and undigg the story.


The only problem that could see happening with Digg is the same I see with government : individual responsibility. If everyone diggs like I do, but doesn't bother undigging things they don't like after all, then the system won't work as well. Personally, I like Digg more these days because the stories come faster, I can tag them for checking out later, and the diggnation podcast is great. I loathe their commenting system, but I'll make that sacrifice to rant here o(^_-)0

brocklee
2006-01-06 14:13:23
I'm still not impressed

Do you mean that the signal/noise ration on Slashdot has always been low? The rest of your sentence following the "but" does not really make sense as you wrote it.


And as for my opinion, Slashdot is very noisy and an RSS feed that allows me to glance and reject most postings is a great benefit.

roger69
2006-01-06 14:24:26
I'm still not impressed
No, I mean it's always been high, from the standpoint of comments on each story. That's where all the noise is. I think most stories on Slashdot are signal.


As far as the story feed from Slashdot is concerned, I've got 10 stories from them today so far. I don't view that as a lot. Sites like BoingBoing usually have more. Digg has WAY too many for me to even care about.

benw24
2006-01-06 14:28:24
room for two different sites
They're different in many ways. How Digg's popularity is going to "kill" Slashdot is beyond me -- Slashdot is still there, you notice, despite your blog posting. Amazing. There are other sites that have some things in common with both, and they're not "killed" or "dead" yet either. Calm down.


I prefer the variety of stuff on Digg, but some really poor material shows up there: way, way out of date "news"; stuff where the contributor has just skimmed the article and missed, etc. Slashdot has better quality control.

illinst1
2006-01-06 14:28:48
Editorial Integrity is Terrible
I love Digg but if I come across one more "Title says it all" description on the front page i'm gonna lose it. The title does not say it all, ever. If it did there wouldn't be a link on the other end, would there?


Diggers: Take two minutes to write a decent description or don't bother submitting at all. This is where Slashdot has you beat hands down.

FiZ
2006-01-06 14:34:08
Editorial Integrity is Terrible
Take two minutes to write a decent description or don't bother submitting at all. This is where Slashdot has you beat hands down.


Even if we make fun of your for every typo (^_^)V


Not only that, but Digg seems to have a far higher rate of spam and lame posts that wouldn't have a chance of getting through Slashdot. The other thing I like about Slashdot more than Digg is that Slashdot has a much higher rate of actual articles as opposed to a 'story' that's hardly anything more than a download link.

benlong
2006-01-06 14:34:42
Something's Missing from Digg

I love digg. Would love it more if they could use the Bill Gates Borg image and have it dynamically appear next to MS articles!
Egenity
2006-01-06 14:35:05
Digg vs. Slashdot
I am an avid reader of both sites on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.


However, I have really started enjoying Digg more, due to the content. The Slashdot side seems to be nothing more than a propaganda machine for the Linux/OSS world. I often drew a comparison of Slashdot’s MS hating to the Middle East media outlet’s "Destroy America" hatred campaign. They are strikingly similar.


Disclaimer: I am a thorough user of both sides of the world (Linux and MS), and both platforms play a huge role in my professional endeavors.

hugget
2006-01-06 14:42:36
Nothing special
I totally second this.


Also, the comments posted on Digg are of no value whatsoever. Mostly written in teenager-style-instant-messenger lingo.


In fact, Steve, I really can't believe you're actually enjoy Digg. Isn't it rather the idea behind it that you like?


On Slashdot, the comments that have been moderated up sometimes are actually worth scanning through IMO.


Agreed, Digg *is* a cool idea (anyone can post anything and it's up to the users to promote it to the front page), it just isn't working right now. How did it become so "teen"? 90% of the comments are something like


Soooooo old, no digg


or


Digg++


or


Digg rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What can be done to improve on the commenting culture on Digg though?


On Slashdot, many of the commenting users actually try to write something that has value.


Improfane
2006-01-06 14:48:32
Editorial Integrity is Terrible
Even if we make fun of your for every typo (^_^)V


You receive satisfaction from people's mistakes?

Improfane
2006-01-06 14:51:44
Irronic
Ironic: Digg was discovered through Slashdot and ever since; I have used it instead.


They are both reliable in giving me the news I require.

veekaysoft
2006-01-06 15:18:17
diggdot.us
Personally, I prefer to use diggdot.us to browse through the latest stories of the day, since it is a cumulative list of the latest digg, slashdot & del.icio.us links.


I feel all this talk about digg beating slashdot or del.icio.us, is just unnecessary.


Each of them are great sites, and have a slightly different kinds of audiences. However, competition is always good, since it means that each site will strive to improve its services to retain/regain its users.

daeley
2006-01-06 15:33:21
Digg vs. Slashdot
I often drew a comparison of Slashdot’s MS hating to the Middle East media outlet’s "Destroy America" hatred campaign. They are strikingly similar.


Jeez, troll much?

Calzonzin
2006-01-06 15:37:04
I dunno about y'all, but...
... the fact that digg does not have CommanderTaco's comments anywhere near it alone makes it worthwhile... That guy thinks we all give a crap about how the post's subject is gonna change his life...


The one missing feature of Slashdot? Highlight an editor's comments with a black highlighter, even if its the guy that founded the site.

FiZ
2006-01-06 16:03:15
Editorial Integrity is Terrible
Note that I actually made a typo in my comment. I was just making a joke that even though Slashdot has far better story summaries, they have far more grammar nazis. I should know.
teddlesruss
2006-01-06 16:03:18
Agreed but there's more
There are other considerations - one is that already I'm finding it hard to A) separate the gold from the coals in the links and B) find the time to follow the now significatly higher number of links I find I'm following. As the service grows there will only be more of this, and digg will become unwieldy.


Love digg right now, don't know what I'll think in the future.


And in future, who knows but there might be a thriving economy based on news and aggregation? This is beyond the scope of this comment so I'll be writing up the rest of my thoughts on TEdALOG Lite so if anyone wants, they can follow this further.

clarus
2006-01-06 16:04:11
Nothing special
I have to agree. I subscribe to both Slashdot and Digg RSS feeds and frankly Digg contains a lot of fluff, and a significant number of stories where I ask myself "why was this posted?"


I also agree that Digg seems to be populated by buzz-seeking high-schoolers with no sense of history, context, or fact-checking. Slashdot reads like it's populated by brainy thirtysomething nerds who are surfing the web in their cubicle instead of working. Some Slashdotters actually know what they're talking about, whereas Digg posts contain an astonishing lack of awareness about the world outside the school grounds.


If Digg doesn't stop tempting me with too many new articles that have no meaning, I'm going to dump its feed too.

FiZ
2006-01-06 16:21:57
Overall as likely...
...as the internet killing print media. They said that would happen and yet I've got a monolithic bookshelf right next to me.


Case closed.

sjk
2006-01-06 17:53:01
Nothing special
I share the "nothing to see or say here" sentiments about digg, especially the painfully mundane, irrelevant, redundant, senseless excretions from people I apparently have nothing in common with. Just a time-wasting distraction for me, at best.


Re: What can be done to improve on the commenting culture on Digg though?


Interesting question, hugget, which I often ask about other commenting cultures. The one on this weblog is actually one of my favorites.


Enjoyed your amusingly observant comments about Slashdot, clarus.

hartwige
2006-01-06 18:37:56
Other projects
Steve you might also want to have a look at other news aggregators such as reddit.com and www.nulltag.com. This field is getting pretty hot lately.
man(1)
2006-01-07 06:16:08
spinoffs
Digg has a different type of content from Slashdot; sure, there's a lot more on the front page, but it's a bit too general, and often plain lame. I guess I'm just not interested in Windows, sorry.
It seems to be spinning off some more focused offspring, though. I expect big things from a recent arrival, LinuxFilter.
charlesnw
2006-01-09 18:19:57
room for two different sites
He didn't say it was dead. He said it will die. You need to read more carefully. You say the author is sensationlist (no you don't actually say those words but your attitude implies it) but you are the only one who is being sensationlist.
spaceman
2006-01-12 09:20:11
Nothing special
"In fact, Steve, I really can't believe you're actually enjoy Digg. Isn't it rather the idea behind it that you like?"


Yes, this is what I was really going for it didn't come off right. I do like digg though, but for some different reasons I had realized later: speed.


The comments do stink a bit on Digg don't they? I rarely read comments (a habit from /.) so this escaped my notice.


Steve

moronpatrol
2007-01-23 23:10:58
digg is the windows of the OS world, lot of people use it but thats about as deep as it goes


also digg has alot of articles masquerading as spam and alot of the content submitted by newbs has been featured on slashdot years ago. give me well moderated site any day over digg which can largely be a waste of time


frankly digg is like voting, just because so many vote for it doesn't mean its good...i imagine slashdot will be eclipsed trafficwise by digg, but 90% of digg will be worthless traffic anyways..


jim
2007-04-26 01:40:07
after hanging around digg for awhile, you do realize the freedom of moderation and conversation attracts more idiots to the site, creating a lower average IQ of for the digg user pool.


ive had 100X more meaningful discussions, and better laughs on slashdot.

felsefe
2007-07-11 10:56:40
I love digg.. :)
Steve Hannah
2007-10-06 15:29:27
I do like Digg, but found it annoying that articles would be re-timestamped whenever its ranking changed, so the Digg articles would always show up at the top of my news reader every time I refreshed. So I made a little tool to filter the Digg feed so that articles are only added the first time they appear in the RSS feed. This has improved my Digg experiences quite a bit.
The tool is at http://feedfilter.weblite.ca