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The Rise of 429

An anonymous reader writes "Wired has a story about Digg, a community bookmarking site that creates its own version of the Slashdot effect. It's a provocatively titled piece - 'Digg Just Might Bury Slashdot' - but goes on to consider the obvious similarities between the two and the differences. Digg is more chaotic, immediate and user driven, whereas Slashdot features more in-depth and technical discussions." Well, I hate navel-gazing news but I think the aggregation of blogs is a critical step in the future of on-line content, and Digg is doing good work here. The interesting thing will happen when their population grows a bit more. Scalability is hard... but I imagine the millions of dollars of VC funding will really help.
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The Rise of

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  • My comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:54PM (#14054173) Homepage Journal
    I have been reading slashdot for years and digg for months. I don't ever see one replacing the other. Some people will like one, some will like the other, but many will like both. Here is my comparison:

    Slashdot: Targeted by very technical editors, I generally want to hear about 40% of the stories.
    Digg: Targeted by users, I generally want to hear about 5% of the stories.

    Slashdot: Best comment system I've seen with a large number of commenters (threshold 4 for me)
    Digg: Comments are worthless.

    Slashdot: Stories are often days old (and duplicates abound).
    Digg: Generally havn't seen it before.

    Slashdot: As a subscriber, I get a full customized rss feed with some unexpected plums (see my latest journal entry)
    Digg: The RSS feed doesn't contain the link to the story, forcing you to go to their useless comments page.

  • Re:My comparison (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rovingeyes ( 575063 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:00PM (#14054237)
    Editorial: Slashdot: Targeted by very technical editors, I generally want to hear about 40% of the stories. Digg: Targeted by users, I generally want to hear about 5% of the stories.

    I think you are missing an important distinction. Stories in Digg do not get rejected. If it is of great interest to lot of people, it makes to the front page. In /. if the editor doesn't want to hear about it, it adios...Pick your coolaid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:02PM (#14054270)
    I started looking at digg last week when I saw it mentioned in a slashdot comment. The mix of articles is usually interesting, but the comments are abysmal. Seriously, something about encourages comments which are almost indistinguishable from crapflooding. Who the fuck cares if you "dugg" the article? And when people aren't posting retarded "dugg/no dugg" comments, they are spewing stupidity that makes slashdot look like a MENSA meeting.

    My recommendation: Put in your RSS feed, and never read the comments. Anything else is asking for a lower view of humanity.

  • diggnation! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by bearigus77 ( 931879 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:04PM (#14054302) also has this amazing video podcast they offer. It is hilarious and well run. The two guys that are on it (alex albrecht and kevin rose) are really funny. Plus in addition to reading us the weekly news, they sample some beers while they are at it :)
  • by mcho ( 878145 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:11PM (#14054392) Homepage Journal

    I disagree with the comment that traffic has real value.

    As a web site owner, traffic from /. doesn't necessarily translate into new customers, increase ad revenue, etc. And, ironically, this has been discussed on

    (Of course this comment won't see the light of day because if you don't post early, you're comments aren't moderated any higher to 'Nothing to See Here, Move On'.)

  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Flaming Babies ( 904475 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:17PM (#14054468)
    I've been to Digg, and their stories are much more current than Slashdot's (seemingly because of the way stories are posted)
    I, myself, have not been to Digg...
    Just curious if you saw the [] link in the story?
    I've heard many times here that Digg comes out with stories faster...this seems to disagree.
    Is this bad data?
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liselle ( 684663 ) <> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:31PM (#14054608) Journal
    But then it would be slashdot - what would be the point?
    It would be Slashdot without the editors. I think that would be interesting to see, if nothing else.
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thebosz ( 748870 ) <thebosz AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:32PM (#14054634) Homepage Journal
    I agree that on first glance, Slashdot seems to come out ahead. What the article means is over the entire time dig vs dot has been tracking it. If you were to change the "View By" setting to "All Results" you'll see that is slightly ahead of Slashdot. Personally, I don't think that it means too much with the results that close (as of this moment 252 for Digg and 223 for Slashdot).

    As far as taking over goes, I'm in total aggrement with the Grandparent. You don't get any sort of intellectual discussion there like you do here (of course, using the comment threshold to its full advantage ;) ), but I don't think that's the point of

    There is a way to report duplicates, spam, lame, or broken links on but I haven't noticed any difference when I use that because I like to see the latest instead of waiting a week until a story hits the front page. I suppose the editors wait until a certain amount of complaints come in until they do something. It seems to work over all because few duplicate stories make it to the front page.

    Personally, I keep an eye on both sites.

  • Re:My comparison (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:33PM (#14054658) Homepage Journal is the other site that I used to read where the stories for the front page are chosen by the users. Kuro5hin eventually pissed me off enough because so many people insisted that nothing get to the front page without perfect grammar and spelling. Almost all the good stories are rejected IMO.

    I would personally rather read a badly written write-up of something that is interesting rather than a well written fluff piece. I guess that is why I put up with CmdrTaco.

  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:39PM (#14054717) Homepage Journal
    To be blunt, I think that the reason that taco hates nav(e|a)l gazing is because there is so much that needs improvement [].

    I too come for the comments. There are some real gems. Quite often, they've been modded into oblivion by some idiot who ( inexplicably) has mod points. That's why I don't read slashdot at +4; slashdot's moderation, to be blunt, doesn't work. Because it is so often punitive and/or ideologically driven, it makes no sense to trust it to limit what you read; and because it is anonymous, there is no ability for the community to rein in such abuses. Add to this the fact that meta-moderation simply doesn't work, as evidenced by the fact that slashdot's primary moderation is just as broken today as it was years back.

    Step it up a level: It'd sure be nice if everyone who "edits" the stories had decent English skills. For instance, yesterday, in a story entitled "Smart hotels in New York City", the following nugget creeps, steaming and raw, into the reader's eye: "People will use computing as natural as they use writing instruments." Errors like that appear almost every day, putting the lie to the very idea that there are "editors" at work. People are approving stories, certainly, but at least one of them is not "editing" them. I find it a little sad that a site which claims to serve a technically inclined audience can't be bothered with the technical details of writing, even to the point of the truly minor and/or obvious. Naval, indeed.

  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:51PM (#14054832)
    If you like it really fresh, try the new [] feature. It displays stories not yet posted to the homepage sorted by most recent vote time so that you can get an idea of what are soon-to-be popular posts.
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:51PM (#14054839)

    I'm surprised, though, that a troll community hasn't been fostered that gets foul image sites permanantly at the top. Maybe they have a method of preventing that, I don't know that much about it.

    My guess would be that Slashdot are vulnerable to trolls and Digg are not because Slashdot has Broken Windows [].

    Slashdot exhibits a lot of broken behaviour - dupes, typos, bad grammar, entire words missing from sentences, obvious astroturfing/paid-for stories, front-page stories linking to Goatse pages, etc. Most of this can be explained by editors who can't or won't do a good job. This both attracts people who take advantage of that, drives away people who care about that, and frustrates the people who end up staying for the comments.

    Digg doesn't exhibit the same systematic, long-term failures of Slashdot, so it's less likely to attract vandals and malcontents.

    I'd like to see Digg with a better commenting system and some form of user-moderation of posts: right now it resembles graffiti on the wall, not discussion.

    But then it would be slashdot - what would be the point?

    It wouldn't be Slashdot until it added all the problems listed above. Digg with better comments would be like Slashdot with those problems fixed. And since the Slashdot editors obviously don't want to fix Slashdot, it's up to somebody else like Digg to take over.

  • Basically, in order for Slashdot to compete, it needs to somehow rip off the Digg system. Story submissions could be placed in a pool where Slashdotters could select the best they feel that the editors are letting go to waste.

    The Random Slashdot Story Submission System (RS^4) had to be updated at some point.
  • Re:Late again (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Otto ( 17870 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:57PM (#14054905) Homepage Journal
    For this *particular* story, the story on digg only appeared after it appeared on slashdot.

    However, being a long time reader of both digg and Slashdot, I find that links to stories which appear on Slashdot nowadays invariably have appeared on Digg's front page up to 2 days earlier. More, sometimes. Slashdot is not the place to go for up-to-the-minute articles.

    My alternative theory is that the majority of Slashdot submissions are now coming from people who found the articles they're submitting from seeing them on digg.
  • by RabidPuppetHunter ( 620593 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:10PM (#14055055)
    I go to /. to read (and occasionally comment) on selected technical topics. The topic choice is predetermined, some I like, some I pass, many topics I'd like to see may never surface. Regardless, there is always a debate, some flaming and sometimes some laughs. Its all about the comments. I no longer look to /. for late breaking news, its invariably delayed or some news/topics never show up. Its all about the discussion...

    I go to digg to get late breaking news, book mark my areas of interest (I invariably want to find an article again later) and "dig" for new information via users with related links. Digg's comments are mostly worthless dribble but I do not look for comment value on Digg.

    Digg seems to be evolving (and hopefully improving their scalability). I hope to see some innovation on the proven /. concept (I am patient, I expect I will have to wait a while...).
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:19PM (#14055137) Homepage Journal
    Good points. One you didn't mention, however, is the point that really annoyed me while using it: The quality of the stories was consistently dropping. The digg users were continually finding stories about fart jokes or stupid flash animations far more interesting than any real info on science and technology. Thus the automatic filtering has been breaking down due to the opinion of its users. The end result is that you still have to do a massive amount of manual filtering to find anything of interest.

    Oh, and their search engine sucks just as badly as Slashdot's. It works better technologically, but you still can never find the old stories you're looking for.
  • Re:Digg (revisited) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by doormat ( 63648 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:22PM (#14055166) Homepage Journal
    Oh, and many of the posters seem to be 15 (at least those tend to get modded down on /.).

    My #1 problem with Digg is that it seems to be the same crowd that followed The Screen Savers on ZDTV/TechTV/G4/whatever. Younger kids dumber than I (I am 24 and have a BS in Computer Engineering so I figure I have a higher standard when it comes to the kind of news and analysis I want). I use digg to browse the news and whats going on, like I do here at /. (now that I have excellent Karma, I dont feel the need to post as much), and there have been some real gems I've found at digg that I would have probably not found anywhere else - the Best Buy Xbox 360 allocations was a good one - I found that the store near my house had 54 Xboxes total - so if I wanted one I'd have to get their early, I'm still debating if I want one or can wait 'til after the new year.

    I stopped listening to the digg podcast since its basically Kevin Rose and that other guy Alex being drunk and stupid and laughing all the time. Plus their sponsor is GoDaddy, who's owner made some very flawed political statements he heard off some douchebag talk-radio jockey, plus the tasteless superbowl ads last year.

    So yea, the only place I go for real in-depth news is ArsTechnica. Everywhere else is just filler.
  • by duerra ( 684053 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:32PM (#14055299) Homepage
    I don't particularly care which of these sites changes, but they both do some things that the other should, and neither do one thing that both of them should.

    1. Slashdot should better enable the users to decide what content is posted, as Digg does.

    2. Digg needs some serious help with its comment section

    3. Digg needs to be open sourced to really attract the Slashdot nerds ;)

    4. Neither sites do this well.... but there should be a section, or some sort of system, where popular articles that are continuing to get a lot of comments/discussion/replies are still readily visible, *regardless* of how old it is.
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ToasterofDOOM ( 878240 ) <> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:45PM (#14055462)
    For another interesting comparison, check netcraft for digg [] and compare it with slashdot [] Slashdot way outclasses them, natably in ranking as the 47th most visited site. (I swear, half of the top ten are google)

    Also, for uptime people, /. last rebooted 102 days ago while for digg it is only 40 days ago.
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MilenCent ( 219397 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (hwnhoj)> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:22PM (#14057142) Homepage
    I too come for the comments. There are some real gems. Quite often, they've been modded into oblivion by some idiot who ( inexplicably) has mod points. That's why I don't read slashdot at +4; slashdot's moderation, to be blunt, doesn't work. Because it is so often punitive and/or ideologically driven, it makes no sense to trust it to limit what you read; and because it is anonymous, there is no ability for the community to rein in such abuses.

    The solution to that, of course, has always been metamoderation, but that itself has been revealed to be broken in recent months by users who use the Overrated and Underrated mods, which are used to mark comments up or down without risking a reduction in mod points from negative metamods. Meaning over time, disproportionately many mod points may be put in the hands of these people.

    Of course, some of this is speculation. But it'd explain some strangenesses I've noticed lately in moderations I've seen towards my own comments, and those I've seen of other people.
  • Re:Naval Gazing? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by lasermike026 ( 528051 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:49PM (#14057431)
    I'm sorry but i'm not happy with my slashdot experience. The karma thing hasn't work for me and I don't know why my karma is so low. Low karma reduces unpopular speech which makes this a more repressive system. The "Karma haves" speech gets louder while the Karma "have nots" userbase die away. This system directs speech. Why would someone with "bad" karma want to stay with slashdot? Also, authors have to much control on what is presented on slashdot. They act as barrier to what we see. Digg authors put stuff out there but the value of the story is determined by the users. That's better. People see what they want to see. Slashdot, stop trying to make something and start letting things emerge. PS. why is my karma so slow anyway?

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake