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Digg: 'newspaper of the Web', or its gossip column?

A “collective wisdom

When it comes to technology news, Jay Adelson, Digg CEO, believes in the “collective wisdom” of the “Internet masses” to actively promote good tech stories. Starting next week, his belief in the tech masses will be matched with a belief in the general masses, when Digg expands its service to include entertainment, gaming, science, world and business news…

As I discuss in “Social freeloaders: Is there a collective wisdom and can the Web obtain it?,” a “collective wisdom” of any masses, let alone the “Internet masses,” is hard to come by. Wikipedia, which calls itself the “free encyclopedia”, is beset by “nonsense pages,” revert wars,” and “vandalism.”

For Michael Arrington, “Digg is looking more and more like the newspaper of the web.” Given that the only “news” Digg actually provides is commentary on other’s news, in what it calls “digg user news" (your latest diggs, or someone else's), however, I hope Digg does not represent our newspapers of the future.

Perhaps we should call Digg a gossip column, for while Digg commentary is entertaining and colorful, it is often not newsworthy. Here is a taste of current Digg “news” commentary/gossip about Comcast tech support:

  • Yes I hate Comcast too. But really, I just hate anyone who charges an arm and a leg (or $30+) a month for medium speed internet,
  • YouTube is down for some reason. Any mirrors? I wonder if Digg brought it down, or are they just doing mantinace?,
  • yeah dood, youtube, which uses 200 terabytes of bandwidth a day, was dugg to death :P,
  • YouTube is down retard, Just a quick question. How do you know this is even real? Anyone can record someone sitting on their couch and claim it's a service call,
  • Welcome to web 2.0. It doesn't have to be true as long as people want to believe it,
  • Yeah it's funny, for as seemingly smart and intellectually independent the tech savvy crowd seems, we easily become a blind mob. Basically a commodity of smart cows, Comcast may suck, but I kind of feel for the tech. Nobody should have to wait on hold for an hour. More than ten minutes should be unacceptable. Besides, he was sitting right next to the air conditioner. When you sit next to the air conditioner, you're going to sleep, no questions asked,
  • was going to post this 3 days ago but Digg said there were duplicate stories (even though they didn't show up via a search) so I didn't submit the story. And now 2 versions of the same story have been posted with people ignoring the duplicate warning! guess from now on the duplicate warning should just be ignored all the time eh?
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