The internet is big, and you'd need an army of people to keep an eye and find things of interest, as Douglas Adams once said of space. Thankfully for sites like Digg, thousands of people are doing just that.
Digg is a popular US social bookmarking site, and when users find something they want to recommend, they just digg it, by posting a headline and short summary on Digg.
Digg’s service began in December 2004, and its main focus then was on computers and technology news. Now, Digg covers eight topic areas, which include world news, sport and entertainment. Aside from stories, it covers videos and podcasts, and each section has its own subdivisions. Stories that make Digg's front page can send thousands of visitors to a particular site.
Sounds perfect? Not everyone agrees. Digg founder Kevin Rose told Business Week: "The larger the critical mass of users and the collective wisdom applied to digg, the better and more relevant the stories get." But crowds are not necessarily wise. Many of the stories that get dugg are sensational types, and some are pure trash.
The site announces that: "Everything on Digg is submitted and voted on by people like you." But judging by the quality of the comments submitted, some are of poor quality. Digg has tried to improve things by adding a Bury command, and by letting users digg or bury each others' comments. Users for example, can choose to see only comments that are rated +5 or +10 or more, for example. Digg has also been criticized because certain groups seem to have undue power in getting stories onto the front page, while a "Bury brigade" tries to bury stories that do not fit the site's preferred opinions or, worse, are critical of Digg. There's a fine line between "the wisdom of crowds" and mob rule, some observers would whisper.