Last week Digg removed the “Top
Diggers” list in order to help stop the manipulation and gaming of
Digg, which resulted in a lot of
commotion. Today, I
wanted to take a fresh look to explain how the move may impact Digg’s “Friending”
system and possibly allow more non-top Diggers to place stories with the
Without the top users list, it will be harder for new Digg users to friend
the top 100 users. For those not familiar, any Digg user can make another Digg
user their friend. You just find a Digger’s profile or Dugg page
like this. Look under
their icon, and you’ll see an Add Friend.
When you make someone a friend, you see everything they submit, via the
Friends tab in your profile.
The top 100 Digg users have a lot of power in Digg. When they vote for
something, their votes carry a lot of weight. In addition, they’ll have a
network of people who may vote with them. So becoming friends with a top user
might increase the odds of getting Dugg.
Just making a top user your friend doesn’t mean they’ll befriend you. But
it’s a start. When you befriend someone, they can spot this. You’ll be listed on
their Befriended page. You can see this for any user by doing to that person’s
Friends list, such as here.
Then select the “Who Befriended this User?” link below the person’s name.
Befriending someone is a first step toward attracting their attention. If
they decide to make a friendship mutual, then they will start seeing the
submissions you make (or those of anyone they friend) via their Friends page.
That brings us back to the loss of the top 100 Diggers. If you can’t find
them, then this should decrease the amount of new users that just friend the top
100 users in order to get their stories to the homepage of Digg.
The fallout from that? It could cause more companies to hit up more users in
offer them money for submissions. Potentially, they may even offer many of
these top users money for their account to take over their accounts. Keep in
mind that while the official list is gone, others are recreating it, such as
here. Removing the
official list makes it harder to find top Diggers but hardly impossible.
The change might also help non-top Diggers do better with Digg. One of the
reasons Digg removed the list is because they want users to friend others with
similar interests. This will start legitimizing the friends feature more and
hopefully cause more people to use it. If everyone starts using this feature,
then more non-top users will hopefully be able to get stories to the homepage as
easily as top users.
Related to this, over the past couple months, it seems that if a story
received 40 votes from a group of related “Digg friends,” it would not have the
same weight as votes from 40 random Digg users. The removal of the list will
give the Digg crew an option to remove the penalization of too many friends
digging each other’s stories.
How about the potential loss of respect top Diggers may feel, now that the
list is gone? That respect is important, especially given that the Digg crew
does not pay users like Netscape. The list was a way to promote those top
Diggers who spend hundreds of hours making Digg what it is. I am not sure
exactly how, but I think the Digg crew will come up with something to keep the
top users happy another way.
I think this change has the potential of improving the quality of the stories
that hit the homepage and stop a lot of corporate promotions. My guess is that
there will be more changes like this coming in the future, such as the removal
of the friends’ submitted feature because it is causing users to Digg (vote on)
thousands of stories that they aren’t even reading. In turn, that causes not so
great stories to hit the homepage.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.