I have a Firefox extension called Sage that lets me keep track of my RSS feeds for websites I read daily. For the longest time, I’ve had Digg in my list of feeds – Digg, of course, used to be a tech-centered website, peer edited, as it were. Users submit content and vote on it, and that’s how the front page stories are decided. Novel idea, really sweet. Excellent for generating buzz over a new product, idea, or news story.
Today, however, I got fed up and dropped it from my RSS stack. Why?
A few reasons…First, I got tired of the horrible commentary. I feel as if 10-year-old children are writing the banter you see on the site. Or the personal attacks. Second, even before they created less tech-centric news categories, the content was sooooooooooo off-topic. Now, with more generic comments, we’re treated to countless submissions of blogspam, and inflamitory stories like, “Liberals do this…” or “Religious Right does that…”
I suppose I see it as a failure of the pure methodology of peer editing. I like, personally, more focused content providors. That’s why I subscribe to Engadget, TUAW, MaCNN, and Signal vs. Noise, to name a few. That’s why I still subscribe to Slashdot, where content is almost entirely provided by users, but carefully edited. Are they slower than Digg? Certainly, but the quality is higher, and the commentary (especially when filtered) is much more useful.