The shout system has been a roller coaster ride of emotion for me.
- First impressions: “WAY Cool. Now I can talk to friends and if I have something that I really want to get out to the peeps, I can!”
- Second impression: “Oh s**t, here come the spammers.”
- Third impression: “Hey, the spam seems to work! A ton of them are hitting the front page. I better give it a try.”
- Fourth impression: “Damn. It’s not as effective anymore. People are ignoring their shouts.”
- Current impression: “The system is a broken one, but by golly it can be fixed…”
And here’s how:
- Shout Highlighter – Give us the ability to select individual friends that we want highlighted. If my really good buddy who’s been my friend for a long time sends me a shout about a story, I don’t want it to get lost to page 2 before I have a chance to see it.
- Block this Shouter – Some people just shout too much. Sure, I could remove them from my friend’s list. I could send them a politely worded “Cease and Desist” shout, telling them to stop or at least slow down. OR, I could just block them. I’d prefer the last option.
- Shout by Fives – One of Digg’s competitors allows people to message their stories to their friends in a very similar manner as Digg. The main difference: you can only send 5 messages at a time. With the current Digg system, someone can take a story they submitted and shout it to 100 friends in 3 clicks. With the other system, it would take 120 clicks to do the same thing. Needless to say, you’d have to be more selective with a system like that in place.
- Shout at Fans – This isn’t a feature that would reduce shout spam. In fact, it would probably increase it. BUT, if used in conjunction with some of the other ideas here, it would be a benefit. If there was a one-way shouting capability where you could shout at your fans but they couldn’t shout at you, it would reduce the “bulk befriending” that’s running rampant. If they’re a “Fan”, shouldn’t you be able to send shouts to them?
- Personal Shout Preferences – Right now, you can either receive shouts or you can’t. We should be able to declare how we want to be shouted at. >>Open – “Shout ‘em all! I’ll read ‘em.” >>Selective – “Be selective! Shout if it’s great stuff only” >>Breaking Only – “If they find Atlantis, shout it. Otherwise, leave me alone.” >>Broken – “Just leave me alone.” — With this system, a shouter could send their normal stories to those who are Open, important stories to those who are Open or Selective, and OMG stories to those who are Open, Selective, or Breaking Only.
- Two Shout Sections – I was deleting shouts the other day and came across a personal message from a good friend that I’d missed because it was pushed down by spam. I HATE the fact that I have to scan through dozens if not hundreds of shout spams just to see if anyone sent me personal message. There should be two sections: one for shouted stories and one for messages sent directly to me.
- Shout Count – When I go through Fans or profiles to see if I want to add anyone as a friend, it would be nice to know ahead of time how many shouts they send. There should be an indicator of how many shouts they sent in last 24 hours, the last week, and the last 30 days.
I’ve been up and down about whether or not the shout system is a good add to Digg. I’ve concluded that it is, or rather can be, but it will take some tweaking.
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