Digg has launched new features based on social networking and allowing users to establish an identity. Do I hear you say "Not more Social Networking sites to visit"! That was my original reaction and, judging by many of the comments I have read online, many feel the same way. Not being one to be influenced by negative opinions without looking at the other side of the story I gave the matter some thought.
Digg Social Networking
Before I discuss my own observations here are some of the main new Digg Features:
- Enhanced User Profiles allowing users to add their personal interests, photos, biographical information, and links if any to their blogs, web pages or social network profiles.
- History of comments you have made on stories on your profile page.
- The Friends feature shows the recent the activity of your friends - new Diggs or comments.
- Shouts. This feature allows you to send quick notes or stories to particular Digg friends or groups of friends. These are posted to their profile pages.
- Discussion of stories is possible via profile pages; with posts to a message board.
- You can import your email addresses to find existing users or invite those who are not members.
- Favorites After you digg an article a favorite icon appears. Clicking the icon will save and lock that story to the top of your Digg user profile as well as save it to a favorites archive.
Features to come later in year.
- A new images section is due to be launched in October.
- Digg Alerts will give you the ability to create customized email alerts to let you know when a designated story becomes popular, when your friends recommend stories or to provide summaries of popular stories on specific topics.
- Story Suggest: - a feature that provides recommendations of stories and friends based on what you have Dugg in the past.
- Revamped Comments
Looking at the negative comments none convinced me that the new features were not going to be useful. Most were based on the premise that there were too many social networking sites already or that it is a news site and should remain just that. I did find some of these comments quite amusing though.
- Pownce co-founder Leah Culver has made a post to Digg ( Digg Copies Pownce [PIC] ) in which she says “Since I originally came up with the Pownce gender list, I’m somewhat miffed that Digg copied Pownce.”
- Someone observed that Digg had turned into a dating site. The response was "At least you will find an intelligent date"
- Suggestions that Digg be renamed such things as DiggFace or DiggSpace
- Andy Merritt on TechDigest says "It's unlikely to turn Digg into the next Facebook, but perhaps, just possibly, people might be a little more friendly on it. Heck, who am I kidding? Pistols at dawn in the snarky comments section to continue, eh?
- As bloggers we have a wider range of Social Networking tools at our disposal and another such resource could be seen as overkill. However, it isn't only bloggers that use Digg but those who merely wish to find interesting reading matter. It may be the only tool they use. The new additions could be valuable to them.
- Extended profile features enhances the ability to connect and interact with Diggers who have the same interests; which will make it easier to find content you too find interesting. The Shout feature will be really handy. I just used it myself to alert friends about a new kind of comment spam. . I will use to to let my friends know about articles that may be interesting to them and hopefully they will do the same. Hopefully I will find stories that I may otherwise have missed.
- Having social networking and digging on one site could save us time and effort. Stumbleupon has some social networking features and my stats show that my visitors from there stay longer than from any other source. This indicates to me that they are finding the content they are interested in rather than coming on over just for the sake of networking. Hopefully Digg will prove to be the same.
- Because there is a plethora of social networking services around, those that can offer the best value, with the most features, will be the winners in the end. They will be the ones worth spending the time on. I would prefer saving time and concentrating my efforts in one place.
- One major criticism that I do agree with is the removal of post descriptions from your friends Dugg articles. Unless the story title is descriptive enough, you end up doing a lot more clicking to find content of interest.
- Categorization has not improved. Does anyone else find it hard to work out which category to add a newly Dugg article to?
For more details of the new Digg features take a look at the video on the Digg blog DIGG: New Digg Profiles Launch
If you have any inclinations to befriend me on Digg you can find me here - Sueblimely Digg