Digg is a user driven social content website. I like to think of it as a social news aggregator. People from all over the world find stories that they think are interesting (or think others will find interesting) and then submit them to the community to basically judge. The concept behind Digg is simple – when a story is submitted people are allowed to “vote” on it in the form of “Diggs”. The more Diggs a story gets – the better its chances of making it to the homepage or becoming “popular”. Once a story hits the homepage it will stay at the top of the page until one of two things happen: a new story becomes popular in which case it will move down one spot (think of it like adding a new blog post) or it gets buried. The same way that users can Digg a story – they can also bury it which effectively equals a “nay” vote (albeit a very powerful one unfortunately but we can get into that at another time). You can tell how many people "digg" your story but at this time - you can't tell how many "bury" your story.
Digg started out as a tech news site but has since expanded into many different categories with the current main ones being:
- Technology (the bread & butter)
- World & Business
As a non-registered user all you can do on Digg is browse and view stories. In order to actually participate, you must first register. When choosing a username, some people (most people) want to remain anonymous while others will choose their online nick from forums or their real name or their company name. Choose a username that you feel comfortable with. Once you have registered your account – I recommend customizing your profile a bit. Digg lets you upload a small avatar and if you don’t there is just the default silhouette. Since your avatar will show up right next to your username – you want to choose something will stand out because many people will associate you with your avatar as well as your username. I recommend something colorful and unique (most people will see it as a 16 X 16 image).
OK – I’m a Digger now what?
You are now part of the Digg community! One of the first things you can do is start digging people’s stories that you like. You can focus your time on the main page (either digg.com or digg.com/news), a category page (such as digg.com/science) or even the Upcoming news section (digg.com/upcoming).
You can now submit stories. Try to find unique stories that others will find interesting. One common misconception about Digg is that all diggers care about is technology - this is simply not true. Some other very active areas are:
- Movies & TV Shows
- Offbeat News
At the end of the day - the more powerful your account is, the easier it will be to get your stories to the homepage of Digg. This is something that takes a lot of time but it is achievable. Your goal is to get a lot of good Digg friends. The more friends - they more opportunity for them to Digg your stories.
Here are some of my for standing out and building a strong user account:
- Be the first to submit breaking news (election results, Apple iPhone, etc - be the first to submit these)
- Find unique sources (sometimes a cool picture will be more popular than a great story)
- Know what Diggers like (Apple, Linux, 24, Google, Ron Paul)
- Know what they don't (RIAA, Pres. Bush, Bill O'Reilly)
- Leave good comments (but don't leave a comment that says 'Good story')
- Stay active