Digg is a phenomenon. It has eclipsed other social content, news sites such as Slashdot and kuro5hin. Launched in 2004, by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson (who serves as CEO), it has quickly surpassed its rivals. Now, other popular news sites are mimicking its design and features. It has done for news what YouTube has done for video.
This is viral, word-of-mouth, news at its best. Readers can now get their news in moments. Usually the stories are technology or science related, but Digg has recently opened up to covering all fields of interest. Recently, Digg has added a video and podcast section, in addition to news. The site is constantly being refreshed with new content. To get “Dugg” (a.ka. the “Digg Effect“) means your article made it on the front page of Digg. This usually means thousands or millions of viewers will be visiting your site in a very short matter of time. Often, this massive amount of traffic overloads web servers and takes down the website. This is the same as being “Slashdotted” (a.k.a. the “Slashdot Effect“).
The news articles are mostly user submitted. Just like YouTube videos are user submitted. A voting structure is in place to determine which stories end up on the front page. When a user votes for a story, they click the “digg it” icon which increases the story’s vote counter by one. This “digg it” icon can be put on other websites. By allowing other websites to invest in adding Digg’s icon to their sites, Digg pushed to the forefront of social content sites. Now voters could digg a story on whatever website they’re on without having to go to Digg.com to vote for it.
Users are only allowed to vote a single time for a story. Digg has many algorithms in place to discourage and thwart gaming of the system. If you’re trying to vote for a story and just registered, your vote is likely to be worth less than a senior Digg user’s vote, who has voted on and viewed many articles.
This has spawned numerous clones. One of the latest Digg-clones is Sk-rt.com. Sk-rt (or Sk*rt) aims to have topics that are more relevant to a female audience, as Digg’s audience is predominately male. However, neither site is exclusive.