A lot has been made of the dramatic growth of digg.com, a “social bookmarking” site that combines elements of Slashdot.org and del.icio.us. There are charts of its rise compared with Slashdot — the uber-geek site that is (or was) able to shut down websites simply by linking to them — and even a website devoted to the comparison. And now, digg.com says it plans to branch out from technology into other areas, such as news and sports. Is this the future of online news?
There are other, similar social-bookmarking sites, including Furl.net and reddit.com. But as Slashdot regulars know, a system like digg’s is open to abuse, and can lead to any useful information (i.e. “signal”) getting drowned out by all the noise, which is why Slashdot posts can be “modded” or modified by the rest of the community so that they don’t appear as high up, or disappear altogether. Some of the most interesting experiments out there are the ones that have tried to blend the “crowd voting” approach with news, such as Common Times.
Is that the kind of thing digg.com has in mind? If so, it should be pretty interesting to watch. Thomas Hawk has some thoughts along the same lines on his blog, and Don Grossman of A Venture Forth notes that sites like del.ico.us and digg.com can actually influence the news as well as helping to create it.