Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Digg it.

I've just found my newest bookmark. I'm putting it right after the NYTimes and Boing Boing. It's Digg.com, and I think you'll be hearing more about it in the future. I work in the news business, and one of the most frustrating exercises is the continual guess work that is known as story selection. We as "gatekeepers," (a term that has probably obsolescent by now), judge the newsworthiness of stories and try to cater to the tastes of our audience. Giving people what we think they need to know, and keeping them around with what we think they want to know. The pendulum swings between those two poles. I think I'd put PBS's NewsHour at one end and Inside Edition on the other. The problem is that, despite what you may be lead to believe, the people in the news business don't always necessarily have the pulse of America figured out, and when all else fails, sex and violence are the most common denominators. If you hate the news, this may be why.

What makes Digg.com so great is that the audience gets democratic about what stories get top billing. It's American Idol for news content. If you like a story for whatever reason, you "digg it" and your vote is counted. The more votes a story gets, the higher it ranks, the more eye balls are likely to see it, etc. etc. So now I'm not relying on some producer or editor somewhere to tell me what the news is, I'm relying on the audience. It's the same classic, pure Internet decentralization and democratization we see more and more of these days. In this case, the audience in question seem to be tech-oriented early adopters. No big surprise there. Topics that seem to get attention right now lean toward the geek end, but that's not really a bad place to be. I'd much rather know about programmers hacking through China's internet than Lil-Kim's release from jail, and besides, I've always liked geek humor. Boing Boing is a great example of what I'd guess is a similarly skewed demographic.

Of course, as more people begin to "digg" in, this is bound to change to some extent, and that may be the most interesting part. So, I'd encourage you as an obviously classy, tasteful and sophisticated individual (after all, you're here!) to check it out and start voting. I like it, so you might too, and so on and so forth.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:15 AM  
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5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:18 AM  

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