Should Digg Adopt a HuffPo Rule?

OK, so everyone knows that the majority of Digg users lean to the left on most political issues.  Everyone on Digg should know that Huffington Post leans way to the left on all political issues.  It’s natural to think that the site would have a huge following on Digg and would get a ton of front page stories.

Over 7 a day – that’s a little overboard.

Still, that’s what happens to stories when they are submitted to Digg.  With a careful use of clever, tilted headlines and an aggressive user base,  HuffPo has had 52 stories hit the front page in the last 7 days.  This is not new.  In fact, there are times when this would be a low number.  They have tremendous traffic and take advantage of the traffic for Digg’s sake with a nicely placed Digg button accompanied by a request to “support” the story.

Here is an image that tells a lot about the current Digg front page:

Digg Huffington Post

Support is an understatement.   A conservative estimate would put the HuffPo as receiving over 3 million page views per month from Digg.  In case you missed it, let’s highlight that statement:

“A conservative estimate puts HuffPo as receiving over 3,000,000 page views per month from Digg.”

With smaller sites fighting for attention and offering similar, often superior content, is it fair for HuffPo to bully its way to the front page so often.  It doesn’t appear that the Digg algorithm itself favors the site – at least the last 12 submissions have had over 200 Diggs before they were promoted.  One had over 350.

Here is an example.  HuffPo found a story on Politico, added three words to the headline and an opening paragraph, then quoted the source for the rest of the story:

There is no way anyone can tell me that the paragraph that HuffPo wrote, which basically just stated that other sources found the information, makes it front page material, but the entire other story that they quoted does not.  Yet HuffPo had their paragraph/quote/linkjack hit and the actual story did not.

Digg should add a part to their algorithm (or improve the current one if it already exists) that makes it more difficult for sites like the Huffington Post to reach the front page.  We are not suggesting that there should be penalties, but should submissions be graded on a curve?  Quality should be more important than the bulk that some sources have behind them.  If a site consistently gets a ton of Diggs, it is either being promoted by users (which rarely happens with HuffPo) or they have a built-in system that gives them the ability to generate a ton of Diggs every time.

This is not an attack on HuffPo itself.  It’s team “gets it” when it comes to social media and Digg in particular.  Still, there is no way that any one site should hold a 5% share of the homepage.  With close to 20,000 stories submitted daily, is it fair that 1 site would have such a large presence?

The answer to that question is simple.

No.

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Read more about Digg and the Huffington Post on this blog.

JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

5 thoughts on “Should Digg Adopt a HuffPo Rule?

  1. An interesting analysis is to look at the submission times of the articles compared to the publish dates on the articles. People are literally sitting right on the page and submitting new articles the second they are published. There’s no way they’re reading them. It’s the way the game is played. If you want to be a power Digger, you have to get front pages, and being the first with an article from Huffpo is a good way to do that. That strategy gets you visibility, more followers, and makes your future submissions more powerful.

  2. JD,

    Recall the blog post on SNC from RWW asking for the same thing? A handicap placed on sites as there are placed on active diggers.

    Before this it was Ars Technica. If not HuffPo, then another may eventually take it’s place.

    Digg has no value for the smaller content sources now. Unless, they wish to employ editors.

  3. lol well if LGF (little green footballs) was getting it’s hate-filled posts on to the frontpage every day I’m sure most right-winners wouldn’t argue. The majority of people upset with HuffPo are right-wingers who are angry that a left-wing site is constantly being featured.

    However there’s a fringe group who honestly feel that HuffPo has an unfair advantage over other sites that may break the news first, and its in that case that I think those sites should be more fairly treated. Digg is a popularity game – no questions about it. It’s not an equal playing field, but it’s the most you’re ever going to get from such a big popular site.

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