Digg has always been a powerful social hub, with wide ranging benefits in terms of exposure, links and reputation who those who are creative enough to use it in a positive way. With recent Digg algorithm changes, I think it’s important to look at how top Digg users are interacting with Digg and how we can all get the most from it.
Hello, Muhammad. Thanks for doing this interview. Can you just kick us off with how you discovered Digg and how you started using it?
I discovered Digg through the site’s podcast, Diggnation. I started off using it fairly irregularly and in fact, in the beginning got little or no traction on my stories. After participating more regularly, I saw that the more I participated, the more people took note of my profile and my activity and consequently I got hooked.
Can you give new users to Digg any advice on how to successfully start good accounts, in terms of what they should be doing in submitting stories, commenting and looking at what others have submitted?
Sure. To give new users a sense of how to participate in the beginning, and how to evolve this participation as you get used to the social news environment, I wrote the following manual.
What is your opinion of the Digg “shout” system, help or harm?
The Digg shout system is a good concept, but it is often abused because it is so easy to abuse and because most people have no incentive to use it properly. But if you use it properly it can be a very powerful and useful tool.
Do you think the importance of Diggs received from friends or people you’ve shouted is reduced?
Yes, the influence is reduced, but it has less to do with wether they are your ‘friend’ or not, and it has more to do with how
regularly they vote on your submissions. Someone could not list you as a friend but as long as they follow most of your content, their influence is reduced.
How much of a factor do you think that; age of the account, ratio of popular stories, thumbs up/down to your comments has on your Digg vote authority?
It’s very difficult to know for sure because the Digg algorithm is not open and it’s not very straightforward. However, we can speculate on what factors are important, and all the factors you mention, could very well play an important role.
Do you think Digg discounts the importance of votes when users land directly on Digg stories, rather than searching through Digg?
One of the things that Kevin and Jay told us was that when they speak about diversity, they are looking at where and how people discover stories in Digg. This could mean that when someone shares a link directly with you, that could have less influence compared to if you find the link through the upcoming queue, one of the many digg visualization tools, or through search.
What is your opinion of the recent Digg algorithm changes?
The algorithm appears to have changed back to normal. However, for a while there, the algorithm was the cause of concern for many Digg users because it appeared to penalize more popular users and put the spotlight on the lack of transparency at Digg.
Have the algorithm changes effect how you interact with Digg? If so, how?
For a while there I was wondering wether it was even useful to participate on Digg anymore if no one was going to see the stories I was submitting. Now that the algorithm has adjusted, I don’t see any
Do you think its plausable that Digg will one day be replaced, or users will migrate to other social news sites?
I don’t think any social news site replaces another. It’s not a zero-sum game. Each of these sites provides unique value that another doesn’t, and so regardless of what happens, there will always be room for multiple social news sites to exist and flourish together.
Can you give us non-power users some advice on Digg submissions and how to get more Diggs?
The best way to get Diggs is to submit quality content and to network with other users.
How do you see Digg evolving over the next few months and years?
One of the main things that I’m extremely excited about is Digg’s upcoming recommendation engine. Once that is in place, I think the overall Digg experience will be much better.
Some brilliant stuff there, I recommend you read through all of the articles Muhammad has linked too and think about how he interacts with Digg, compared to yourself. You can view his Digg profile here with his impressive 33% popular ratio, from 3,826 stories!
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