Sunday, January 28, 2007

Every story has its glory

Two days ago I started a small experiment in order to find out what is the "effect" of a front page story on both DIGG and Reddit. It turned out that many people dislike this kind of tests so the DIGG story was buried after about 13 diggs (and even so it received more then 400 diggs) and the Reddit one received a lot of negative comments and votes. But overall I got what I needed. I will use a older DIGG story for comparison because this one didn't made front page. So here we go:

Reddit
Reddit is a community website where users can post links to content on the web. Other users may then vote the posted links up or down, causing them to appear more or less prominently on the Reddit home page. This particular story received ~1600 up votes and ~600 down votes. The story was on Reddit home page for more then 24 hours. My thoughts about the "reddit effect":

  • Reddit sends a constant stream of visitors (4-10 per minute)
  • Overall there were about 8500 unique visitors refered by Reddit
  • Your server is safe with Reddit :)
  • Even if your story doesn't make front-page you still have the chance to receive an important number of visitors (more and more Reddit users jump directly to the "new" page)

DIGG
Is a community-based popularity website with an emphasis on technology and science articles. News stories and websites are submitted by users, and then promoted to the front page through a user-based ranking system. The fact that when the story reaches DIGG's front page your server will receive a lot of hits is known ad the "digg effect". I recorded about 35.000 unique visits for a single promoted story.
  • You will notice from the first second your story is promoted that DIGG is very powerfull. It can and will bring a weak server setup down :)
  • DIGG users go as fast as they came, they will not click on your ads, will not submit comments and will not subscribe to your RSS.
  • If your story is not promoted the number of visitors you will receive is close to 0.
  • There is a very important "side effect" of a promoted story: it will start showing up in the other social bookmarking systems soon.


DIGG vs Reddit
If you look at visitor count there is a clear winner. But you may find that Reddit can be also an important source of quality comments. Also front page Reddit stories are more closer to what we call "news".
Conclusion
I called this experiment "DIGG vs. Reddit - the ultimate fight" because I got what I needed and I'm not planning to ask for more using "lame" articles like that. I want to thank you all and I hope this was finally an interesting read and not a waste of time. Here are a few interesting or fun comments that are worth mentioning (in no particular order):
I've got a much better idea for settling this whole Reddit v Digg thing once and for all. Take a random Digg user, and a random Reddit user, line them both up in front of a wall, and see who can piss the highest.
From reading both sites - Reddit has more intelligent articles and comments. On the other hand, Digg has so many articles (most of which are not so good) but you're bound to find something interesting. And more importantly, Digg breaks news very quickly.
We don't want DIGG to know about us... so don't let it get to their front page. The more DIGGers join us, the more we're screwed! QFT. It's cliche to say it but reddit is going downhill... I still have faith but I won't be shocked if our comment sections start to look more digg-like soon.
Reddit is steak; digg is popcorn. With Reddit, I am more likely to click on the links because I don't have to go to some intermediate bullshit article "container". Fewer secondary blog links and the moderation actually works. I actually stopped looking at diggs front page a long time ago and the primary item of interest is the queue (which has it's own set of annoying features). Digg's search is better and it works more like a bookmarking archive system.
On the same note because digg brings you to comments first I can typically tell at a single quick glance that I want to continue on to the article. This is especially tue with video links, which I love and I think is far better than browsing through youtube itself. Reddit flip-flops between intelligent commentary and these strange images. Fine. But Digg I visit far more often, and gets the click in this case.
I hate replying to a troll about reddit, but I found that the comments on reddit are unreadable and unhelpful because the comment system was abused by trolls, far left/right wing raving lunatics, and voracious anti-semites. However, the top links themselves are often times very useful, interesting, and entertaining. So, I still use reddit over an rss feed on my pageflakes, but I don't vote on articles and I no longer comment on them. Both sites have their strengths and weaknesses, but if I had to pick which service would die tomorrow, I'd have to sacrifice reddit. Sorry.

1 comment:

Intology said...

We get more users from Reddit than Digg. In fact the difference is huge and I believe the Reddit user base is more mature.