Spotplex is a recently launched news aggregator that offers an alternative to the Digg model where users submit and vote on stories. Instead, articles are ranked by the number of pageviews they receive.
The site launched officially today, having been in beta since February this year.
It claims to offer a more impartial ranking system than the likes of Digg, and aims to display a wider range of topics.
To get into Spotplex’s rankings, bloggers must insert a line of HTML code – the site then counts the number of times readers access articles.
It looks similar to Digg, displaying the most popular articles in a range of subject areas. One useful tool is the ‘view stats’ option – this shows the popularity of a story over the past 24 hours, as well as the total number of pageviews.
In addition, Spotplex provides a widget that can be added to a blog page to track the popularity of different posts.
In its release, Spotplex points out Hitwise stats that show less than 2% of internet users contribute to aggregation sites - a situation that leads to a small number of savvy web users deciding what is popular.
The beauty of the Spotplex pageview model is that it doesn’t require users to make any special effort to promote an article they like – only the blogger needs to make an effort, and add the relevant code.
Digg has been criticised for the ease with which it can be manipulated - some companies offer services for advertisers on Digg, charging marketers to get articles voted for on the site.
Not that Spotplex will be immune to gaming – the page impression is not necessarily the most reliable metric to use, as it will be relatively easy for some to falsely boost their figures.
Also, blogs that already have a large readership may tend to dominate the rankings.
Much will depend on how many bloggers Spotplex can get on board, as the only articles on the site are those submitted by bloggers themselves.
Are social news sites like Digg ‘better’ than Google News?