Is Digg a True Democracy?
Kevin Rose, 31, is the founder of Revision3, Pownce, and most notably the social-bookmarking website Digg.com. He is formerly the co-host working on TechTV’s popular show The Screen Savers and currently stars in Diggnation. Digg.com launched in 2004 and soon received $2.8 million in venture capital from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.
Kevin Rose: I mean it’s essentially-- what happens is that, you know, our users are always treated the same and every-- no there is no like one power user or one dig is not gonna count more than another. It’s all a vote towards promoting that story. So it really depends on who’s on the site, right, at any moment in time. And if there’s a bunch of pro-Obama people on the site then you’re gonna get pro-Obama stories on the front page, just because that’s who’s using the service. That said, with our recommendation engine that we have coming out in a few months, if you’re Digging pro McCain stories you’re gonna be getting lots of pro McCain stories fed to you, so... because you’ll be clumped together with users of common... of similar interests. So it’s gonna really change the makeup of the site, which is gonna be, you know, another fun experiment for us.\r\n
Question: What’s the easiest way to promote a story to the top?\r\n
Kevin Rose: Well I would say that there’s a couple of things. One, when the recommendation engine comes out in the future, in a few months, when you submit a story it’ll automatically be spread to the people that have similar interests, which is gonna be great. It’ll get the story in front of a lot more people, there’ll be more digging in kind of the upcoming section. So it’ll be easier to get more digs around that story. But if you’re a publisher and a content provider, the best thing you can do is put one of those big Digg buttons right on the top, and say if you enjoy this story, Digg it, you know, and have your community naturally dig it. The worst thing you can do is send an email out to a hundred friends saying dig my story because we look at a bunch of different factors when we say okay, is someone trying to spam this story. And there’s just a bunch of-- I’m not saying that would automatically cause the flags to go off, but if you’re sending around the link to a bunch of people saying like hey, just dig this for me, come on, I need to get this on the home page, oftentimes it’s gonna trigger some stuff that that isn’t really a natural pool of people finding it and digging it. So yeah, the best way without a doubt is just to put a nice big dig this button on there. I hate to say that. I mean it’s like well yeah, sure he’d say that ‘cause he wants Digg buttons all over the place, but just naturally. Don’t force it and don’t try and spam friends with it.
Rose answers whether some users have more power than others.
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- The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
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