What’s the digg effect?

21 08 2007

A relatively new verb that has been coined around the Internet is “dugg.”  Digg.com is a user generated content provider which prioritizes news articles, videos, blogs based on other people’s opinion.  Based on this simple conjecture, the highest rated news articles float to the top of the site and thus get higher traffic.  As people agree with the initial user, the site begins to get “dugg” even more (or voted as being a good article/site) and gets higher traffic.

So the question to ask oneself is how do you get to be “dugg” on the internet.  What are the characteristics of a site that is well received by the Digg population?  In my opinion, there is no set formula that makes something popular on the Internet.  I think the prime example for “random popularity” on the internet comes with video traffic on YouTube.  The phenomenon of lonelygirl15 would never get traction on normal television screens.  Yet placed on YouTube, this type of viral marketing spreads like a wildfire.  The recent phenomenon of Chocolate Rain has received over 6 million views.  I don’t know about you, but I never would imagine something like this catching fire.

At Digg.com, a user can easily see the top 20 digg’s of the day to see what content is appealing towards the consumer.  Unfortunately, Digg.com doesn’t necessarily show a proper subset of the internet.  For instance, if I put this blog on digg.com, I would probably get 5-10 diggs, simply by telling my friends.  Granted, this content may not be interesting enough to forward on to many friends, but it will get lost in the midst of all of the other content.  Currently, the top 100 digg users control most of the community which creates an inflated digg score on certain sites.  Some digg users are pinged by sites to “get their traffic up.”  Getting a high digg score means free traffic = higher ad revenue/free publicity.

So how do you control inflation on the web.  eBay.com for instance has seen this for years under their feedback system.  If 99% of the population on eBay has a feedback rating of 95% and above, doesn’t it lose it’s value?  What about the only getting the top 100 digg users articles on the front page of digg….does the community really have a voice?

This brings me back to the bigger point of the day – is it wrong to have this type of system?  The Internet is amazing because every voice is equal (relatively).  No matter who you are, you will always be able to comment/blog/speak what you want to an infinite audience.  However, when certain users begin to control the content that is shown to the mass public, problems can begin to arise.  Whether you get “techcrunched” by getting an inordinate amount of traffic from Michael Arrington’s site, or get “dugg” by digg.com, your site/content will be much more prominent in the web space.

Just my $.02…



The Wireless Revolution – Part 2…

25 07 2006

I’m not sure if many of you remember when Intel first came out with their wireless centrino marketing tactic but they essentially prepared the world for the WiFi revolution. This was the point when centrino just came out and people began to realize that they didn’t need to be at their workstation to browse the Internet. Well, since those days of seeing the clever person with a laptop in the middle of a football field connected to the Internet, the wireless revolution has come a long way. We started out with all of them operating on the same bandwidth at 802 but soon were getting faster and faster speeds. For instance – we began with 802.11b routers which could cover your home and partially your neighbors signals. Then we got 802.11g routers which would cover the same distances but at higher speeds. Now we’ve come to the n router revolution….

So now we have to ask ourselves, how much further can we go until we hit the max. Well, that is the eternal question that everyone asks themselves. With new bandwidths coming out (802.11 versus 802.16), in a year, what can we do with “wifi on steroids.” We find ourselves in a very similar situation that we were in when the wireless revolution began and that means one thing – intel wants to promote the hell out of it. Wifi on steroids as they coin it, can do significantly more than your current wireless technologies on your computer.

Intel announced today the Rosedale II which will be available to pick up wiMax signals. Ultimately, they will be able to set up access points around cities, eliminating the need for home routers and networking. A couple of problems with this are that too many users can definitely slow the connection down, and the fact that there is no right answer to pricing. We’ve always had to pay for the Internet – but not that companies like Google are throwing it out for free, other companies like SBC and such are scratching their heads. Google has already set out access points around Mountain View and if you know the SSID, you can use it for free…if you live around there – check out their map of access points:


In any case – now the question is who gets the Internet – and do some people get better speeds than others since they are more local? Well it’s a great thing we have people in congress to determine this testy issue known as Net Neutrality. I’m not sure if many of you have seen this clip of John Stewart explaining it, but it is truly hilarious:


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In any case – I think we can all realize that the Internet is the finest example of a level playing field. There is no one on the Internet who is better than others (though many like to think so) which makes the access to this service so difficult. Ultimately – if there is free Internet around the city – then it should be available to everyone….at the same cost and speed…

So if you’re looking for a computer to buy before college…make sure to get Intel’s Rosedale II chip – give about 2 months and you’ll start to see ad’s around the country promoting it…

Just my $.02