When Kevin Rose announced that the top digger list would be no more, he also alluded to plans to make the "social" news site, even more social. At the moment each member of the site has a profile, and can add "friends" in order to keep track of what stories others have submitted and "dugg", but that's where the social networking features begin and end.
While I don't have any inside information on Digg's plans, here are 5 things I think Digg should do to make the site more social.
- Enhanced user profiles. Right now profiles have some basic contact details, an optional photo or avatar, and statistics on a user's digging activity. I'd like to see the option added to pull in other content from elsewhere on the net, such as a user's Flickr stream, YouTube favourites or blog's RSS feed. In fact, Digg profiles should become widget friendly, so that any number of web services can be displayed.
- Recommended friends. Digg should automatically alert users to others who consistently digg the same stories, who aren't already on their friends list. (Why not have a friend compatibility feature?)
- Tagging. A user should be able to tag stories to make it possible to organize and discover previous submissions and diggs. Some refer to Digg as a social bookmarking site, but currently it's not very useful for anything other than browsing the current submissions. Tagging would be a much needed way of utilizing Digg's archives.
- Messaging. With increased social networking features, Digg needs a way for users to send private messages to each other.
- Forums. Currently the only discussions that can take place on Digg are comments surrounding a particular submission. Users need a place to continue the conversation long after a story has dropped off the front page. The forum would also give users a place to discuss Digg itself. It's well documented that the site has faced many teething problems as its user-base and influence has grown. Yet, at times it seems like there isn't a mechanism for users to engage with Digg's management, to help solve any problems.
So that's my five suggestions -- it will be interesting to see what new social networking features Digg actually roles out in the coming months.
If you have any ideas of your own, leave a comment.
Related post: Digg, the times they are a changing