Sunday, July 15, 2007

How To Improve Digg

Digg is a great site, one that I visit daily. But as cool as it is there are a number of flaws with it. And as such I decided to make some suggestions for a future revisions.

5. Picture Section: This is probably the single most wanted feature by most of Digg users. One in every ten stories that get submitted to digg is a picture, so creating a new picture section would make a lot of sense. The main problem is that most sites do not want you to link to a photo directly, because it uses up their bandwidth but they don't gain any ad earnings or readers, as opposed to when articles are dugg.
One possible solution might be to only allow users to post direct links to images from a fixed list of sites such as flickr and imageshack. And when posting images that appear on articles (i.e. in a blog), the user has to link to the actual article.

4. Advertisements: Currently the is littered with Google AdSense. This could be extremely annoying. I'm certain Kevin Rose is probably thinking up other possible ways to monetize Digg. One rather obvious way would be to allow "Sponsored Digg Items" to appear on the Digg frontpage. This would work in the picture section as well, where sponsors could post image ads.
One problem that might arise in a possible revolt from digg users who might not like the idea of advertisements posted as digg articles. A possible solution would be to post the advertisements in the "Upcoming section" of the site in a separate "Advertisement" category, with the ads being promoted to the frontpage if it receive enough diggs. The advantage of this would be that only quality adverts would make it to the front page. Although there is a possibilty that no-one might end digging adverts.

3. Cache: A cache would be useful not only for reducing the digg effect, but to allow users to visit articles that they have dugg in the past. The original content might have been deleted or changed but if digg keeps a cache of the site, it won't be a problem.

2. Better Search: Currently Digg's search implementation is rather weak, and completely useless to most people. Improving the search engine and implementing it as a major feature could make Digg the Google of the social bookmarking niche.

1. Personalization: This is the most important feature that Digg should implement, and probably will implement if they want to stay in the game. Currently the stories on the frontpage are determined by what the majority of the users like, but that doesn't mean you will like it. Also because of the large volume of articles being submitted and dugg up, the frontpage changes way too frequently, so you might miss articles that you would have liked.
Digg could implement a method in the the articles that are presented to you on the frontpage as well as the "Upcoming" section are determined by your actions in the past, such as the stories you dugg or buried in the past, or by matching your interests with that of other users. Personalization will have a huge impact on how digg is used, because it will mean that ultimate, once Digg learns what you like and don't like, you'll only be receiving stories that you'll love.

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