The Blog

Digg for the Rest of Us

In brijit, editorial, publishing, social media on Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 11:17

As a user, I find Digg worthless. Whew. It feels so good to say it out loud!

Of course, as the CEO of a small-but-growing online media company, I’d give my left pinky toe for Digg’s traffic. But I don’t find the site helpful, and I’d be reluctant to put my name on its virtual masthead, because so much of what floats to the top of Digg is, well, crap like this.

This isn’t me being an elitist, mind you. I love Digg in theory (communism works in theory, right?); the idea of a community of individuals working independently to promote great content is actually near and dear to my heart. But in practice, Digg as it’s currently constituted is no meaningful filter – it’s little more than a sieve. Sure, you’ll find an occasional gold nugget – but you’ll spend hours in hip waders with your hands in the muck trying to find it. And the irony is that the bigger Digg gets, the less valuable it becomes, because more and more muck is being poured into the system.

This reality means Digg is part of the information overload problem, not part of the solution. The signal-to-noise ratio has deteriorated to the point that the filter needs a filter. And doesn’t that defeat the purpose? I mean, who’s got the time?

As it turns out, we do. At noon Eastern today, Brijit will begin covering Digg. Digg, you ask? Alongside the New Yorker and This American Life and The Daily Show and Pitchfork? You bet. There’s great content there, and in the context of Brijit, we think Digg can be a valuable resource for the rest of us, busy people without the time or the inclination to go story-fishing in an ocean of crap.

Brijit takes Digg’s most popular, pulls out the most interesting and substantial items, and sets our community of smart readers, writers, and editors to work boiling them down to 100 words or fewer. And while we’ll credit that we found it in Digg, every abstract links back to the original source, to save you time.

We’re also adding coverage of YouTube and Techmeme today, for different reasons. YouTube has a high clutter factor, too, but it’s search-driven in a way that Digg isn’t, which makes for a better experience for the casual user – you dive in, find what you’re looking for, and hop out. Here the Brijit abstract serves more of a serendipity and discovery function for people with neither the time nor the inclination to visit YouTube every day. As for Techmeme, it’s a pretty terrific algorithmic filter, valuable in almost every way, and we think that a wider audience of non-tech folks would appreciate some of what bubbles up there each day, in a shorter format.

So there you have it. Brijit is covering Digg, YouTube, and Techmeme, so busy people don’t have to work so hard. We hope you’ll let us know what you think.

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  1. This is an excellent idea. While I love digg-centered shows like Diggnation and the Digg reel, I find most “news” stories on Digg to be useless crap. Thanks for putting in the effort to find the best of Digg!

  2. Thanks Brijit for providing an oasis of reason in a screaming desert of distraction.

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