Digg removes avatars, raises Digging limits

No more looking for spades, street signs, or red faces. Digg has gone to text links rather than thumbnails of the avatars on submissions.  A few days ago, they raised the limit from 200 to approximately300, then apparently back up to “unlimited” (even though there is one report of a user banned because of Digging too much).

Digg_No_Avatars

Server performance aside, is this an effort to reduce the rate of “blind digging” while not hurting their page views? Blind digging has always been an issue and will continue to be even if this change sticks, but it does make it less convenient to run through the front page or recommended upcoming pages looking for friends’ icons.

Speculation has been that the decrease in activity, ie number of Diggs, to a story was a result of the limits placed on Digging.  People were having to be more frugal with what they dugg and the total Digg counts have decreased as a result.

This combination of moves is most likely a trade-off: raise the limits to allow people to Digg more but make it harder to “blind Digg”. Will it work? Probably, to some extent, but it will slow the process down more than solve the problem. Either way, unless they completely eliminate names altogether and make submissions completely anonymous, there will be friends digging friends without reading the stories.

Of course, if they went anonymous (even if only through upcoming) they would open up a whole new can of worms. We’ll monitor to see what comes of this.

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