Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ya Dig?

I first joined Digg back in my freshman or sophomore year of high school after a tech-savvy friend of mine told me about it. Back then it was a pretty cool site to use in order to find interesting stories or articles--and it still is. Before there was "liking" on Facebook, it was fun to agree with something by "Digging it," or even giving 5 stars to a Youtube video (bring the stars back! Stop making everything like Facebook!) Over the years Digg has seen some changes, but it has largely remained the same, which is why I still like it and go on regularly. There aren't many sites out there that I can say I visited 5 or 6 years ago and still visit, but Digg has a winning formula that isn't broke, and ain't been fixed.

I think that Digg's roots can be tied to the mentality held by the early pioneers of the Internet. Before the World Wide Web, the Internet was a very different place. People shared programs, users had coding skills, and modifying or tinkering around with source material was encouraged. People communicated on bulletin boards and were eager to show each other interesting things. Digg recalls this eagerness to share interesting and cool information with other people, and the community of Digg users gets to determine what is most valuable. But this only works in an ideal situation.

Digg is not meant to be complicated or time consuming. It is a quick and easy way to see what other people think is worth looking at. That is why, "gaming" as Dr. Levinson describes it in New New Media isn't allowed. Artificially promoting stories to the Top News page interferes with Digg's ability to naturally bring attention to topics people agree are interesting. Much like the ideal, level-playing field that the pioneers had in mind for the Internet, Digg functions properly when people don't try to beat the system in order to promote their own agendas.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and for the excellent points!