05.08.06

Is Slashdot Irrelevant? (Digg vs. Slashdot)

Posted in General at 4:07 pm by matt

I’ve been a podcast listener for quite a while now.  Not since the beginning, but pretty darn close.  In the past several months, I’ve been listening to Diggnation pretty religiously, and finally, a couple weeks ago, I’ve started to actually use Digg.  For those of you who don’t already know, Digg.com is a social tech news website, much like Slashdot.  However, with Digg, all stories are submitted by users and all stories are voted on and promoted to the “front page” of Digg by the users.  This causes two things to happen.  First, there’s a larger volume of stories.  Secondly, there’s a significant lag time associated with Slashdot postings.

Because every post on Slashdot is approved by an editor, it’s got to be submitted, reviewed, etc., before it can go onto the front page.  Slashdot believes that there should be an editor.  That’s fine.  However, one of the reasons I loved Slashdot was because it was one of the places I could go and see news days before the mainstream media picked up certain stories.  I felt, “In the know” by using the site.  Recently, well, Slashdot is getting scooped by Digg pretty much constantly.

Since I’ve been reading Digg, I continually have the sensation of “not finding anything new” on slashdot.  Well, at least not anything new that is *interesting* to me.  What does this tell me?  The crowd at Digg.com is pretty damn good at picking out stories that are interesting to me.  It also tells me that while both sites are pretty much “covering all the bases,”  Digg’s userbase finds things faster and promotes them faster, giving me more timely news.

In addition, with Digg, I think there are fewer dupes, or duplicate postings.  The editors of slashdot are almost infamous for posting things that they’ve already posted.  I dont know whether this is because they lack editorial communication or are just forgetful, but it happens an awful lot.  With Digg, the astute users almost always notice and don’t promote duplicate postings.  There are even built in mechanisms for finding duplicates. (Users can mark stories as duplicates, and when you submit a story, Digg searches its database to show you similar articles, helping you make sure you’re not posting a dupe.)

The one salvation for slashdot is, for better or for worse, its community.  It’s been recently reported that Digg has more pageviews than slashdot, but I think slashdot has a much higher number of comments per post, sparking more discussion.

In conclusion, if I want my news faster, I go to Digg.  If I want a second opinion or sanity check for a piece of news, I wait for it to show up on Slashdot.

Note: I do not advocate forming opinions solely based on that of Slashdot readership. That would be silly.

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