Digg is arguably the most powerful social networking site. Thousands flock to it every day in search of sensational news and information. Sites which get to the front page of Digg get several thousand page views in a matter of hours. This has resulted in the popularity of the “Digg effect”, which means that poorly optimized sites and those on poor hosts go down, unable to handle the flood of visitors.
Digg started out as an experiment in November 2004 by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson. All the founders are still part of the site.
Digg has, in the past, experimented with new features, including the revamping of categories within containers (tech, political, sports etc.), a dedicated video section, and now, the latest : an Images section(see Kevin Rose’s announcement post).
Being a regular Digg visitor(particularly Apple and Design sections), I noticed the new navigation bar and the occasional images in the Design section. I checked the other sections and the result was the same. To make sure that this was not something wierd, I searched around for any announcement post, and found Kevin Rose’s post.ADVERTISEMENT
The following are Kevin’s words in the post, followed by my comments:
New Universal Taxonomy:
Now you can submit news, images, or videos to any category on Digg! Categories will be consistent across the board, which means you can view all media types in a given topic, or view one media type at a time (e.g., only images under the â€œsportsâ€ category). Weâ€™re also excited to support the launch with new categories. â€œOffbeatâ€ will be its own category, with new topics, and weâ€™re adding a whole new â€œLifestyleâ€ category with topics like Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel. As always, if you donâ€™t want to see a particular topic or media type on Digg, you can click the customize button in the navigation to filter your view.
I am glad to see this. Finally! I was getting a little sick of the lack of proper topics in many fields. What I would like to see further is more topics about internet in general, and more specifically, blogging. Right now, the topic most conducive to blogging news seem to be Design, seeing as many blogging-related posts have hit the front page(especially from Skelliewag and Vandelay blogs).
New Images Crawler:
Submitting images to Digg is basically the same as submitting news and videos, with a few notable differences. When you submit a link to a web page containing multiple images, Digg will crawl the page and present up to ten image thumbnails from that page for you to choose the one you want. Weâ€™ve also added this technology to news submissions.
Images is another category that I am glad to see. Having seen the videos section, I have always wondered why Digg did not have images section for those lacking the bandwidth for videos (like myself). Also, add to that the fact that Mixx, a much-hyped Digg
clone competitor sports an Image section, and has a ‘popular images’ reel in the front page itself.
Sorting and Duplicate Image Detection:
Weâ€™ve added a new sort to the images section called â€œmosaicâ€ view â€“ itâ€™s great for browsing image thumbnails. To help prevent people from submitting duplicate images, weâ€™ve added image recognition technology from IdÃ©e Inc.
This is one feature that I have reservations about. For one thing, artificial intelligence has its limits, and image detection is not exactly stellar. We’ll have to see if this goes on like every other image recognition features.
The new image section is sponsored by Intel, which should boost Digg’s finances (which are a bit low, with them struggling to monetize the site to its full potential).
The submission process has been revamped, with more topics (imagine, a topic dedicated to US Elections 2008!), and ability to choose a thumbnail to float on the right side of the news. However, this image is different from the actual “Images” section submissions, because it floats to the right and is smaller (as opposed to images submission, which floats to left and is larger).
My only complaint with the new upgrades is that the new topics are more of sub-topics of existing categories. I would like to see a new section dedicated to Internet, which is currently not the case.