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Digg.com founder Kevin Rose has unveiled plans to expand the social news aggregator into other vertical sectors, such as politics and entertainment.

Kevin explained to attendees at a recent eBay Developer’s Conference a big redesign is in the offing, which will allow Team Digg to broaden the scope of the website beyond technology. Watch out Yahoo! News…

Never used Digg? It’s easy and simple, as well as being a useful resource for good quality content (as determined by other readers).

Digg invites users to submit interesting news stories, videos and other articles, along with a comment and link to the source. Other users who like these articles can ‘Digg It’, and it is this popularity rating that elevates stories onto the Digg front page.

Some websites have been temporarily smited what’s commonly known as ‘The Digg Effect’, where a front page story diverts a huge amount of traffic to the source, often putting unprepared websites out of action. Not that lots of referred traffic is normally a bad thing!

Digg has some great features. Check out the ‘add a comment’ functionality, which works a little like Basecamp, very swish. Visit Digg Spy to hunt for breaking news, and to get a better idea of how the platform works. You can Digg stories and comments, and importantly, you can also negatively Digg them too (‘This Is Lame’).

Of course there are the dissenters, who say that elevating a story to the front page is purely down to popularity, and as such the system can be compromised. But Digg relies on ‘the wisdom of crowds’, in the same way Wikipedia does, and as such it does seem to work. Perhaps there's a risk that this wisdom will be diluted as Digg becomes less niche.

There are various measures to prevent abuse, including – it appears – IP-based tracking, as E-consultancy found out a few weeks ago when a handful of us naturally voted on a SearchEngineWatch article that pointed back to E-consultancy. Bans all round as a result, very harsh!

But we remain big fans of Digg. You’ll see at the bottom of this article that we’ve inserted three links, including ‘Digg This’. In future, we may see more of these links on consumer-orientated news websites, as Digg expands.

The world is Digg’s oyster, the opportunities huge. Cue the “Kevin Rose is a sell out” t-shirts from the blogosphere’s more savage cynics... and with that in mind, coupled with the threat to the existing news aggregators, I've got Yahoo! at the top of the list of potential Digg acquirers.

Steve Rubel has a little more here.

Chris Lake

Published 12 June, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (2)

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simon chamberlain, Hitwise

Very interesting take on Digg's expansion. I just blogged on this (linking to your post, of course). Digg has enjoyed fantastic growth in the past year - in fact five fold increase in visits and it is now the #4 IT News and Media site in the UK!

about 10 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

I think Kevin's put Digg into an amazing position, though I guess we need to remember that Yahoo News currently seems untouchable. Longer term that may change, a little or a lot.

The Hitwise data illustrates this nicely - Yahoo is twice as big as Google News and 20 times bigger than Digg. But remember that Digg has not really been aimed at the big markets: news, entertainment, sports, etc.

It will be very interesting to see a) how much more market share Digg can claim over the next 12 months, and b) whether Yahoo (or other) buys it, as was rumoured at the start of 2006.

If I were Kevin I wouldn't be in any rush to sell up...

about 10 years ago

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