Are DIGGers Biased Against Blogs?

Over at our sister site, the Apple Gazette, Michael wonders whether DIGG has started to become biased against Apple-related stories. He has observed that while it previously only took about 30 DIGGs (that is positive “votes” by DIGG users) in an upcoming story in the Apple topic to be brought to the DIGG front page, it now seems to require more.

Digg.com appears to have made a change that makes it more difficult (i.e. requires more â??diggsâ?) for Apple related stories to make it to the front page of the social news site. Is this just for Apple related stories, or is it an across the board change in Diggâ??s algorithm? Itâ??s possible that this change has come due to the overwhelming number of Apple stories that have recently made it to the front page of the site.

True enough, I’ve noticed that there are stories in the “upcoming” area that with 60 plus DIGGs over the past 10 hours and are still in the queue (see screenshot below). Previously, 30 DIGGs in that same span of time–or even more–will be enough to bring an entry to front page.

We’re not questioning the DIGG algorithm here. But as we have previously done here on ForeverGeek, we’re sharing our observations in the hope that someone will shed some light on what’s going on behind DIGG. A change in algorithm had been announced before, and we’re not sure if Apple-related stories have been given special attention. However, I would like to share another observation on how DIGGers–or at least quite a number of them–think when it comes to the sites being submitted.

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Are blogs spam?

So let’s go back to my original question. First we have a recap of the DIGG guidelines. Spam, duplicate submissions and bad links are not acceptable. Also, DIGG has special mention of blogs on its FAQ.

Are blog posts okay to submit as stories on digg?

Blog stories are fine as long as the story is not plagiarized. However, if any URL within digg is consistently flagged as SPAM by the digg community, that URL will be blocked from submission.

While DIGG generally accepts entries for any site, which includes blog posts, the special mention makes it appear that there is discrimination against blogs. Further, I have encountered, time and again, entries that have been buried by users because these linked to blog postings instead of a more traditional website (such as an online edition of a broadsheet or magazine, or a company/product website)–this is apparent in the comment threads. There are the users who would comment–usually in a snarky way–that they wouldn’t DIGG submissions simply because they link to blogs. “No DIGG. It’s probably blog spam,” or “It probably links to his blog.”

What gives? I do agree that a lot of blog authors and contributors have a tendency to echo just about everyone else in the blogosphere. Many bloggers simply post links to things that interest them, without adding much content nor value to the discussion. But there are also a handful of excellent blogs out there, with really good, compelling and original content. Then there are those who are fond of linking to interesting stuff elsewhere, but provide opinion and insights that add value. There are also a handful of bloggers–and not necessarily the A-listers–who are very knowledgeable and contribute insightful opinions and even initiate discussions on relevant issues, be it about technology, politics, science, or other topics. In fact, most hot topics today are discussed not in the mainstream media, but in blogs, considering that traditional media won’t usually air out scoops unless rigorous validation processes have been met.

Whether it’s the DIGG system itself or the DIGG crowd that’s biased against blogs, I think blogs and bloggers deserve more credit. After all, DIGG markets itself as a user-driven site. Isn’t the blogosphere also all about democratized web content?

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