How to solve Digg in 3 seconds flat

Everyone is arguing about the best way for Digg to do a social bookmarketing oops I mean social bookmarking service.

The solution is simple.

But first you have to define the problem. As I understand it, the problem that Digg solves is finding the best stuff online by letting lots of people basically vote with their mouses.

The wisdom of mobs is in the individuals
Mobs are only wise when each individual umm, mobster, is ignorant of each other mobster’s choices. Then, based on aggregation of thousands of truly individual, rational, selfish choices, you can generate really good insight on … well, anything.

It’s when peer pressure and me-to-ism, fashion and fad kick in that choices of mobs become simply that: mass hysteria.

That’s the foolishness of mobs, and that’s what you’re seeing (sometimes) on Digg today.

The problem:
People who submit a lot of stuff and are good friends with other people who submit a lot of stuff get all their stuff on the home page and others don’t.

The associated problem:
Ticking off these people is a bad thing because they are your most passionate, invested, and productive users. In fact, “users” is a bad word for them because actually they are producers who have helped to generate the traffic and fame and notoriety and investment dollars and potential massive cashing-out sale that Digg is getting.

The solution:
Caveat: this is only a good solution if the assumption is that the goal, mission, mantra and sole defining purpose of Digg is to find the absolute best, most interesting stuff.

If that’s true … disable the features that let people know what their friends dugg – for a set period of time.

That’s all. Done. Fixed.

[tags] digg, wisdom, mobs, intelligence, social, bookmarking, john koetsier [/tags]

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • 1) Well, at least it would force people to a bit of extra effort.

    2) Errch, you’re right.

    And any other algo-based solution is obviously targeted at top users … which ticks them off … which results in nastiness.

    Sucks to be Kevin Rose.

  • So take it a step further. Eliminate the scores and rankings that make Digg competitive. There’s no transferable value in being a “Top Digger” anyhow. When users recognize that, they’ll stop dedicating hours of their day trolling for stories to submit, and be less dissatisfied when they’re submissions aren’t promoted.

  • This idea defeats the entire purpose of digg. This is a social site and having friends is a big part of that. Disabling the friend feature will solve little, for the following reasons:

    A) People will still log in and go directly to mrbabymans or digitalgophers page to see what they are submitting. The extreme top tier digg users will get their stuff to the homepage regardless if the friend feature is on or not.

    B) Assuming that top diggers get their stories to the homepage due to their elite amount of friends is greatly exaggerated. I’ve been a top 100 digg user (im slightly under recently) with no more than 4 friends having befriended me. I had, up until a few weeks ago, 40 stories on the homepage with essentially NO FRIENDS. Recently I’ve been befriended by many more people, and you know what I’ve found? Out of the 100 users that have me as their friend, usually only 2-3 digg me while my story is upcoming. This difference is extremely negligible, and has essentially no huge impact with regards to stories making it to the homepage.

    I have a feeling that those that complain, simply either have bad timing, or do not submit high enough quality of content for diggers to take interest. Take a look around the top 200. Many of those users have very few friends and still have done very well with contributing content.

    The bottom line is, and always has been, that if you have good quality content, the digg community is going to notice and promote you, regardless of your friend count. Destroying a highly important, intergral, and essential element of digg is therefore entirely unnecessary.

    – exoendo