Friday, September 26, 2008

An open letter to Mr. Kevin Rose

Dear Mr. Rose, I am just one of the millions of users of your website and I just wanted to say that I love Digg for many reasons and I have always felt that it's a great concept. But there are some things which I don't like. I know this has a high chance of getting buried in digg, but I have decided to go with it. Are you gonna read it?

1) Power Diggers

You might say ''who are they''? Well, they are the users of digg who have the highest number of submissions that has reached the front page. People like MrBabyMan, msaleem, MakiMaki and others. For example, MrBabyMan has hit the frontpage about 2900 times! So if an article get submitted by these guys, it has a much higher chance of hitting popular than the ones submitted by me or a newbie, mainly because they have a huge fan base and their fan's digg whatever they submit. It was said that top 100 diggers control 56% of Digg's homepage content!

the top 100 Digg users posted 56% of Digg's frontpage content

List of top 100 diggers


As I pointed out previously, the power diggers enjoy enormous success. So, many companies are reaching out to them with cash and are asking them to promote their story. These diggers in turn have a huge network with many friends on the instant messengers. They follow the '' I scratch your back and you scratch mine'' policy. So sometimes stupid stories get popular. Don't you think that the power diggers have a undue advantage over someone new?

The politics of digg

3) Burying Option

Why does this option even exist? You like something, digg it and if you hate it, don't digg it. It's that simple. In elections, you can vote for Obama but can't you bury McCain. As it ain't democratic. Moreover burying is also anonymous, why is that? People should be held accountable and there should be two sections for comments for a particular article, one for the diggers and one for those who buried it. Otherwise the burying option should be done away with!

The bury button

4) Blogs and small websites have a smaller chance of reaching the frontpage

Blogs or small websites have a much smaller chance of reaching the frontpage. I will not say that it doesn't have any chance whatsoever but it is really slim. I have seen that the front page of the technology section regularly featuring articles from established websites like wired, cnet, techradar, torrentfreak, linuxhaxor, lifehacker etc but I rarely see domains from blogspot or wordpress or the lesser known websites. Now some of us don't have enough money to get a domain for themselves and blogs are the only way to express and write articles. But in that way, the chances are really small of hitting the fp even if the article deserves to be popular. I don't know exactly if digg is responsible for it. Are you?

5)Social Networking

Does digg wanted to be a social networking website? There are many other options availaible like Myspace, Facebook, Orkut etc. So why this whole friend's and fan's concept? I know that it helps a digger to promote their story but it has also like poisoned the whole system. Some diggers get a bigger and better platform to promote. But is that what the digg concept is about? Digg has over a million people, but increasingly the stories which are hitting frontpage are coming from established diggers who have a huge networking base in digg. Is this what Digg set out to be? Or was it more in the lines of ''Let the best story,win''?

I also like to add that fanboyism pretty much exists in Digg. You write something good about Apple or Linux, you get huge diggs. You write something
BAD about Microsoft, you get also get a huge digg count :) See what I mean.

I know that many of these problems doesn't have a solution. But I can guess we always take the first step!

Thank You.