Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Digg Launches ‘Newswire,’ New Method Of Social News Curation

In what looks like an attempt to improve the social discovery aspect
of Digg, the service has
announced a new feature called the Newswire that lets you filter stories
by number of Diggs and see what is being Dugg in real-time.

On the Digg website, there is a link to Newswire Beta on the
top navigation bar. Clicking this will bring you to the Newswire, where
news appears in real-time in an activity feed on the right side of the
page. From here, you can see which users are Digging which content as it
happens. Pretty cool. Once you have submitted a story to Digg, it will
automatically be featured at the top of the Recent section of the
Newswire. As the story is Dugg by other users, it will begin to move up
the ranks in the Trending section.

The flip side of this is that in addition to seeing how articles
perform after you have submitted them, you can filter the Newswire to
suit your interests and discover cool articles. You can filter the News
feed by topic, media (images, video or text) and the number of
Diggs. For instance, you can choose to see stories about entertainment
that have been Dugg more than 10 times (so that you know the story’s not
a total dud) but less than 50 times, meaning that you can discover
interesting content that might have been lost in the shuffle among more
popular stories.

It will be interesting to see if the Digg Newswire can help the
troubled company, as it faces serious competition from the likes of Reddit and StumbleUpon. Indeed, many
Digg users stopped using the service after an ill-judged redesign and
many started to use Reddit instead. Digg added several
new features — including a story
view counter — to its website back in February, but that did not
seem to stem the tide of disappearing users. In March, Digg founder Kevin Rose left
the company.

On first impression, this is an intriguing new feature that might
help to engage users more often. However, taking a deeper look at the
feature suggests that it can surface some fascinating content if you
tweak the filters slightly. I’m certainly interested to see how the
Newswire develops as it is an interesting idea with a lot of potential,
but whether users who have left Digg are tempted to come back and try it
out is a different story.


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