Here’s a list of ideas I’ve had over the past year or so while using social news sites. Most of them are ideas that I think would improve sites like Digg, Netscape and Reddit in one way or another. Admittedly, one or two of them would just be interesting to see implemented on an experimental level. Either way, feel free to rip each and every one to bits.
Social news may be revolutionizing content aggregation, but there are some things it has yet to master. Here are some types of content and methods of aggregation that have proved clumsy or non-existent on social news sites. Some of these niches are being tackled by new comers and some are just waiting for one of the big players to pluck them.
Recently a conservative blog called Little Green Footballs voiced their displeasure with Digg’s “mob rule”, claiming that they are falling victim to left-wing diggers. If you set aside the partisan politics, there is actually a lot to learn from the situation surrounding this particular site on Digg. It brings to light some common misconceptions about Digg as well as problems that need solving.
A couple of weeks ago, Yahoo! launched Pipes, a GUI that makes remixing and mashing up RSS feeds fun and easy to do. Since Pipes uses RSS data for input and output right now, the applications for social news are limited by the RSS features of the sites. The more RSS features they have, the more you can do with them in Pipes. That being said, there are a number of ways you can use Pipes to streamline your social news RSS subscriptions.
The principle of transparency is regarded by many to be necessary in a successful democracy. Every day, people are demanding more transparency out of the media, business and government. Socially driven news sites are a step in that direction. They offer a level playing field where users come to edit news democratically. What role does transparency play in the users’ actions on these sites?
This past week has been all about the connections users have with each other on social news sites; the very fabric that makes up the social environment. Newsvine added ways for users to connect with each other. Digg took some away. Netscape did a little of both.
Last week, Netscape flashed a teaser of the upcoming version 9 of its browser. Details are few, but what is most exciting to me about this release is that they’re touting integration with their social news site. This is something that many a social news junkie has lusted after for use with sites like Digg, Reddit and Newsvine. But what exactly will it entail? How deep will the integration go? What will it take to make it a killer app for Netscape.com users? And what effect will this have on social news? [Read more…]
People often ask me what drew me to the world of social news. This is a question that has more possible answers now than when I started using Digg. Some of the answers also provide insights as to why it is so hard to stop participating in social news once you’ve started.
Before the age of social news sites, I used to work in an office with an open-concept layout. The employees there would frequently IM links to current events to everyone in the office. People would read it and then shout out comments or witty remarks about it. This was the original social news for me. The environment on Digg reminded me of that. [Read more…]
The social aspects of sites like Digg, Netscape and Newsvine often provide the most rewarding experiences of the site. Being social is also a sure-fire way to move up the rankings and gain respect within the communities. There is a point, however, where being social can be construed as gaming the site. So where does being social end and gaming begin? [Read more…]
With a new year comes new opportunities and a chance to set goals for the year to come. Here is a grab-bag of new year’s resolutions for Netscapers, Diggers, Redditers, etc. If everyone took on a couple of these, the world of socially driven news would be a better place by the end of 2007. [Read more…]