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September 27, 2007

Why isn't Digg the true example of the "Democratic Web"

I read a post by Rand today in which he commented that Top 100 Digg Users Control 56% of Digg's HomePage Content.This post was written in mid 2006 . Rand clearly states that digg is actually run by a few elites who control which stories that appear on the front page and which stories gets dugg.

"When folks think of Digg, they're often misled into believing that the content seen on the homepage is representative of what a wide base of Internet users think is news-worthy and important. The numbers tell a different story - that of all stories that make it to the front page of Digg, more than 20% come from a select group of 20 users. Digg isn't shy about hiding this fact, their top users page plainly displays the statistics:"

I did some research of my own today and found out this digg user lists , which lists digg users by the number of posts submitted and the no of times it had appeared in the front page of digg and the results were truly dictatorial . Its hard to believe that digg actually represents the web 's democratic nature . The statistics are anything but democratic. When you have user's who consistently gets to the homepage and whose submission to homepage ratio hovers anything from 10% -50% , you start to have serious doubts on the " so called online democracy" tag which Digg earned for itself. Many of these top users have, as Digg terms it, a popular ratio of 30% and higher, meaning that almost 1 out of every 3 stories they submit will reach the homepage.

While this is not certainly hurting Digg . But what it means to small site owners like me , is the realization that "In Digg it really pays to know the big and the powerful". Digg is actually the reflection of the offline social world in general . The rich and the powerful controls the maximum resources and they are in control of what goes in and what goes out .

It is something that many folks who use the site don't realize and many marketers attempting to use it to promote their content should be aware of. Like the college frathouse, it pays to know the right people at Digg. So it makes more sense for small publishers to actually befriend these top users ( by taking them for drinks,dinner or do whatever to make them click ) rather than be-friending folks who dont have much say,or whose stories dont make it to the front page more often.

You can find the detailed analysis of digg users here
Blatant Diggers display their Trophies here

More News On Digg

* Digg Army: Right in Line
* Digg Corrupted: Editor’s Playground, not User-Driven Website
* Digg being abused
* The trouble with DIGG
* Digg Army at Binary Bonsai
* Corruption? The House of the Digg Elite