When the Recommendation Engine was first introduced on June 30, 2008, the front page was instantly transformed into a 20-man show. During the first week of July, 31% of the front page stories were submitted by 10 people and 51% were submitted by 28.
By its very nature, the Recommendation Engine pushed these numbers even higher. The more a submitter’s stories were Dugg, the more they would be recommended, which would get them more Diggs, which brought more recommendations – in essence, it snowballed for heavy submitters with lots of friends until its peak in the first half of August when 46% of the front page stories were submitted by 14 users. The top 30 users controlled over 2/3rds of the front page.
Since Digg initiated their no scripts, no blind Digging safeguards on September 8 and started banning offenders of this, the diversity of the front page stories has increased. In a 24 hour period from September 19-20, 48 of the 103 front page stories were submitted by users who average less than 1 front page story per week. Many of these users were seeing their name on the front page for the first time.
The safeguards have also reduced the number of total Diggs and has driven down the threshold for hitting the front page. During the same 24 hour period, 39 stories reached the front page with less than 100 Diggs compared to 13 under 100 on August 10.
What do all of these numbers mean for Digg and its millions of users?
- Diversity – This is already showing itself and appears to be increasing as new and less active users are starting to hit the front page.
- Decreased Diggs, Increased Page Views – While the number of Diggs is going down, the number of page views is likely increasing. Users must click through to a story page to Digg their friends’ submissions now using scripts results in a ban.
- Increased use of the Recommendation Engine – Since many active users will not spend the time clicking through to their friends’ submissions, they will rely on the Recommendation Engine to save time.
These three results improve Digg’s position in the market. Despite rumored failed attempts to sell Digg over the last year, it can be assumed that they will continue to improve their value in the eyes of potential suitors. The recent changes all lend to that goal and improve their value proposition.
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Read more about Digg and social media on this blog.