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Why Reddit is Better than Digg

reddit.comI have come to a realisation recently that I wanted to check with you.

I’m starting to think Reddit has overtaken Digg.

It doesn’t look as nice, doesn’t have the big name, nor does it have the famous Kevin Rose, but as a user and as a Social Media type, Reddit seems to have edged out Digg, and I am not the only one who thinks so.

Why is Reddit better than Digg?

  1. It Works – Breaking news really is breaking news on Reddit, not 2 day old news reheated. What is the point of this sort of system when every other site on the web has 4 variations of a story before Digg even acknowledges it?
  2. Content Mix – There is more variety and fewer favored domains. Of course you still see the same old domains but not to the degree that happens over at Digg. Yeah XKCD can be funny, but you know, it gets a bit much when it seems every single frikkin post gets to the front page. If I wanted to subscribe I wouldn’t use Digg to do it! (Slight exaggeration but you know what I mean)
  3. Democratic – It’s easier for ordinary users to get a front page story, which adds to the mix (see #2) but also means it is not as elitist as Digg in terms of submitters.
  4. See Down Votes – Reddit is far more transparent, you can see when your story is not going to make it as you can see the users voting it down. Now this is annoying, especially when you don’t know why you are getting down votes, but not as annoying as being left in the dark.
  5. Digg Conspiracy – On Digg getting lots of votes doesn’t always mean your story goes front page, leading to conspiracy theories at one end and disenchantment at the other. Neither good.

Digg used to be my favorite but lately, not so much. Now Reddit has gone open source it should only get better as the community piles on with fixes and improvements. What is your response Mr Rose?

What do you think? Has Digg lost its way or has Reddit still some way to go? Please share in the comments …

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Comments

  1. Totally agree, Chris. You can get a lot more mileage out of a story with only a few votes on Reddit—on Digg, having only a few votes means nobody visits. At the end of the day, a filtering process like Digg or Reddit is only worthwhile if people are reviewing material then deciding whether to vote or not as opposed to just voting for the popular stuff. So, Digg’s gatekeeping ability is sub-par to Reddit’s.

  2. Totally agree, Chris. You can get a lot more mileage out of a story with only a few votes on Reddit—on Digg, having only a few votes means nobody visits. At the end of the day, a filtering process like Digg or Reddit is only worthwhile if people are reviewing material then deciding whether to vote or not as opposed to just voting for the popular stuff. So, Digg’s gatekeeping ability is sub-par to Reddit’s.

  3. Yup, and the stuff on Reddit tends to be more quirky because of it, Digg is so mainstream now compared to what it was like in the beginning.

  4. Yup, and the stuff on Reddit tends to be more quirky because of it, Digg is so mainstream now compared to what it was like in the beginning.

  5. I always wondered why crap articles get front page with hundreds of diggs on DIGG site, maybe the article author have lots of friends and they all vote for that article.
    And about down voting, MIX have this feature too. You just need to check the article details and see all the votes and each user how voted

  6. I always wondered why crap articles get front page with hundreds of diggs on DIGG site, maybe the article author have lots of friends and they all vote for that article.
    And about down voting, MIX have this feature too. You just need to check the article details and see all the votes and each user how voted

  7. It seems to me that Reddit’s “problems” are more easily fixed than Digg’s so I’m wondering why Reddit hasn’t. Would it be so expensive to pretty up the site and make it a little easier to use?

  8. It seems to me that Reddit’s “problems” are more easily fixed than Digg’s so I’m wondering why Reddit hasn’t. Would it be so expensive to pretty up the site and make it a little easier to use?

  9. Agree,

    In Digg, not only you can’t see the down votes, they use the Burry option which apperantly means that after you get burried for a couple of times your domain might be banned from digg!
    And… Digg is really based on how many friends you have on digg and your your ability to Shout them and get their “help” to promote your story. We got banned from digg, check out our story, http://www.dev102.com/2008/06/27/digg-the-worst-community-driven-site/ it is very interesting

  10. Agree,

    In Digg, not only you can’t see the down votes, they use the Burry option which apperantly means that after you get burried for a couple of times your domain might be banned from digg!
    And… Digg is really based on how many friends you have on digg and your your ability to Shout them and get their “help” to promote your story. We got banned from digg, check out our story, http://www.dev102.com/2008/06/27/digg-the-worst-community-driven-site/ it is very interesting

  11. I have always had more success with reddit then with digg. I think digg takes their users for granted. Thats why things are like they are over there.

  12. I have always had more success with reddit then with digg. I think digg takes their users for granted. Thats why things are like they are over there.

  13. @Adrian – Mixx is definitely one to watch

    @Marios – Expect that to change now they have an army of developers

    @ShaharY – I have a couple of friends whos domain got banned on digg through no fault of their own, will check out your link

    @Daniel – They are the dominant player so get to ignore complaints more I guess

  14. @Adrian – Mixx is definitely one to watch

    @Marios – Expect that to change now they have an army of developers

    @ShaharY – I have a couple of friends whos domain got banned on digg through no fault of their own, will check out your link

    @Daniel – They are the dominant player so get to ignore complaints more I guess

  15. Thanks Chris. I’ve been looking to start using Reddit as I am quite active on Digg and fancied branching out a bit.
    I’ve been chatting with a few friends on IM about it and allways get positive comments.
    I just didn’t understand how it worked .. guess I’ll jump in and give it a go.
    I also read this earlier:
    http://netpulse.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/whats-up-with-digg/
    Which i thought was an interesting perspective on the digg / reddit debate.
    -Dominic.

  16. Chris, I totally agree with your point about Digg and Reddit, even though I need to admit that my experience with Reddit is quite low. A few days ago I got a chance to participate in one Reddit discussion. Webmaster of that little blog, which article was discussed, gave me access to Google Analytics to see a difference. A discussion which attracted about 250 votes on Reddit brought more than 9000 visitors to the blog, which average number of visitors was about 150-250 per day. The number of subscribers to RSS Feed increased from 52 to 118 in one day.
    Still, I don’t know Reddit enough to say more, but I will devote my time to it every day, because it works.

    p.s.
    Be prepare on quite low level of passionate communication on Reddit sometimes, with loads of F*** words, “Idiot” and similar, which is not really attractive to very sensitive/polite people.

  17. Thanks Chris. I’ve been looking to start using Reddit as I am quite active on Digg and fancied branching out a bit.
    I’ve been chatting with a few friends on IM about it and allways get positive comments.
    I just didn’t understand how it worked .. guess I’ll jump in and give it a go.
    I also read this earlier:
    http://netpulse.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/whats-up-with-digg/
    Which i thought was an interesting perspective on the digg / reddit debate.
    -Dominic.

  18. Chris, I totally agree with your point about Digg and Reddit, even though I need to admit that my experience with Reddit is quite low. A few days ago I got a chance to participate in one Reddit discussion. Webmaster of that little blog, which article was discussed, gave me access to Google Analytics to see a difference. A discussion which attracted about 250 votes on Reddit brought more than 9000 visitors to the blog, which average number of visitors was about 150-250 per day. The number of subscribers to RSS Feed increased from 52 to 118 in one day.
    Still, I don’t know Reddit enough to say more, but I will devote my time to it every day, because it works.

    p.s.
    Be prepare on quite low level of passionate communication on Reddit sometimes, with loads of F*** words, “Idiot” and similar, which is not really attractive to very sensitive/polite people.

  19. @Dominic – Thanks for the link, I will take a look

    @adam – It does seem to drive good traffic, if you hit the right topic. The comments are a lot like Digg, sometimes intelligent, if you ignore the worst of them!

  20. @Dominic – Thanks for the link, I will take a look

    @adam – It does seem to drive good traffic, if you hit the right topic. The comments are a lot like Digg, sometimes intelligent, if you ignore the worst of them!

  21. In terms of the quality for users, I think you are right: reddit seems to be better than digg.

    But in terms of traffic, I think digg still has the edge.

    And a lot of mainstream journalists follow the digg’s front page too. So if you can get on the front page, the chances of your blog making it big becomes a lot better…

    Alexa shows that there is no comparison between reddit and digg… they aren’t even close traffic wise!

    But things may be different from a year from now as many bloggers have started writing on how reddit is better than digg…

  22. In terms of the quality for users, I think you are right: reddit seems to be better than digg.

    But in terms of traffic, I think digg still has the edge.

    And a lot of mainstream journalists follow the digg’s front page too. So if you can get on the front page, the chances of your blog making it big becomes a lot better…

    Alexa shows that there is no comparison between reddit and digg… they aren’t even close traffic wise!

    But things may be different from a year from now as many bloggers have started writing on how reddit is better than digg…

  23. You are right, if you get on Digg you get a torrent of visits BUT getting there is ten times harder, and along with those one off mainstream media hits it is repeat popularity that pulls in the best branding effects (it’s that recognition, repeat impression thing). Ideally you are going to need both :)

  24. You are right, if you get on Digg you get a torrent of visits BUT getting there is ten times harder, and along with those one off mainstream media hits it is repeat popularity that pulls in the best branding effects (it’s that recognition, repeat impression thing). Ideally you are going to need both :)

  25. If only Reddit could get rind of those damm “Vote this up if you…..” posts

  26. If only Reddit could get rind of those damm “Vote this up if you…..” posts

  27. Chris and everyone else: As a neophyte to social bookmarking sites in general, I migrated my browser bookmarks to del.icio.us (helped by the Firefox plugin) and following the advice of others, if I stumble across pages with xyz criteria that appeal to me but that I don’t want to bookmark, I add a mini review to StumbleUpon or Digg (though lately have used Mahalo Follow, too).

    My question is, and I know everyone has their own response, but clearly Digg and Reddit compete as StumbleUpon, Furl, and Ma.gnolia compete. And there are countless others. So what do I use when? What do you use when?

  28. Chris and everyone else: As a neophyte to social bookmarking sites in general, I migrated my browser bookmarks to del.icio.us (helped by the Firefox plugin) and following the advice of others, if I stumble across pages with xyz criteria that appeal to me but that I don’t want to bookmark, I add a mini review to StumbleUpon or Digg (though lately have used Mahalo Follow, too).

    My question is, and I know everyone has their own response, but clearly Digg and Reddit compete as StumbleUpon, Furl, and Ma.gnolia compete. And there are countless others. So what do I use when? What do you use when?

  29. Jordan Greenaway says:

    I’ve lost faith in social voting sites; users at large don’t know what good content really is. I’d rather have a nice short story from the New Yorker than a picture of a lolcat.

  30. Jordan Greenaway says:

    I’ve lost faith in social voting sites; users at large don’t know what good content really is. I’d rather have a nice short story from the New Yorker than a picture of a lolcat.

  31. Reddit seems like an interesting service.
    I don’t know if I’d like voting down feature.
    It would work to vote it low on ‘ratings’ that takes average, but I don’t know how it is any effective in strict counts.

  32. Reddit seems like an interesting service.
    I don’t know if I’d like voting down feature.
    It would work to vote it low on ‘ratings’ that takes average, but I don’t know how it is any effective in strict counts.

  33. I’ve only JUST starting using reddit and mixx, but I like what I see.
    I wonder though, if any of these (fark and propeller too) gain any traction, then aren’t we just back in the same boat again.

    I mean my “friends” on facebook are pretty much the same from myspace, and quite a few from friendster.

    I’d really like someone to start taking a look at this constant digital migration…

  34. I’ve only JUST starting using reddit and mixx, but I like what I see.
    I wonder though, if any of these (fark and propeller too) gain any traction, then aren’t we just back in the same boat again.

    I mean my “friends” on facebook are pretty much the same from myspace, and quite a few from friendster.

    I’d really like someone to start taking a look at this constant digital migration…

  35. Where Reddit separates itself is, as others have said, how easy it is for anybody to make the front page. A new user just cannot do this on Digg – heck, a user who’s been a member for a year can struggle to get any attention at all unless they’re very much ‘in the club’. I have no interest in making 100+ ‘friends’ on Digg – it’s too much work and I’m not sure I really like the system, to be honest. It’s like a kind of backward members club.

    On Reddit, meantime, I’ve had two of my own blog posts hit the front page and generate 20,000+ visits, and many other links I’ve submitted have done very well, too.

    At the end of the day, however, nearly all social media traffic is useless to a blogger. Most people are in and out in less than 30 seconds and you get very few return users (well below 1 per cent, irrespective of content quality). Furthermore, be prepared for a massive increase in spam and trollers. And as was hinted above, the comments area on Reddit is as bad if not worse than Digg – it’s littered with trolls and the powers-that-be at Reddit do absolutely nothing about it.

    I personally think the only worthwhile traffic comes from Stumbleupon – for some reason it’s of a much higher quality than the other social media sites. People tend to be more interested, leave better comments and more of them (relatively) subscribe. They also click on your ads too, God bless ‘em! :)

  36. Where Reddit separates itself is, as others have said, how easy it is for anybody to make the front page. A new user just cannot do this on Digg – heck, a user who’s been a member for a year can struggle to get any attention at all unless they’re very much ‘in the club’. I have no interest in making 100+ ‘friends’ on Digg – it’s too much work and I’m not sure I really like the system, to be honest. It’s like a kind of backward members club.

    On Reddit, meantime, I’ve had two of my own blog posts hit the front page and generate 20,000+ visits, and many other links I’ve submitted have done very well, too.

    At the end of the day, however, nearly all social media traffic is useless to a blogger. Most people are in and out in less than 30 seconds and you get very few return users (well below 1 per cent, irrespective of content quality). Furthermore, be prepared for a massive increase in spam and trollers. And as was hinted above, the comments area on Reddit is as bad if not worse than Digg – it’s littered with trolls and the powers-that-be at Reddit do absolutely nothing about it.

    I personally think the only worthwhile traffic comes from Stumbleupon – for some reason it’s of a much higher quality than the other social media sites. People tend to be more interested, leave better comments and more of them (relatively) subscribe. They also click on your ads too, God bless ‘em! :)

  37. @Some Audio Guy: If your friends are the same on Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster, why do you keep all three profiles? Why not dump two and only use one? Or only have friends on one and have status messages on the other two to find you on the third?

    Or… are you the kind of guy to have your car serviced by one mechanic who works at three auto body shops so you bring it to all three shops?

  38. @Some Audio Guy: If your friends are the same on Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster, why do you keep all three profiles? Why not dump two and only use one? Or only have friends on one and have status messages on the other two to find you on the third?

    Or… are you the kind of guy to have your car serviced by one mechanic who works at three auto body shops so you bring it to all three shops?

  39. You’re exactly right that spending your time trying to manipulate Digg is wasted effort, but if you’re also correct that the problem is because too many people are trying to get onto the front page, what makes you think that this wouldn’t hold true for Reddit and StumbleUpon as well? If everyone starts submitting to Reddit, it’ll start to suck just as hard.

    The best way to generate quality traffic is still to put your effort into creating content that adds something to the visitor’s understanding. Spending too much time on SEO and marketing takes away from doing this, and it’s just not needed. If your content is useful and novel, it will be picked up and spread by your readers more effectively than you can achieve by any amount of self-promotion.

  40. You’re exactly right that spending your time trying to manipulate Digg is wasted effort, but if you’re also correct that the problem is because too many people are trying to get onto the front page, what makes you think that this wouldn’t hold true for Reddit and StumbleUpon as well? If everyone starts submitting to Reddit, it’ll start to suck just as hard.

    The best way to generate quality traffic is still to put your effort into creating content that adds something to the visitor’s understanding. Spending too much time on SEO and marketing takes away from doing this, and it’s just not needed. If your content is useful and novel, it will be picked up and spread by your readers more effectively than you can achieve by any amount of self-promotion.

  41. I completely agree. Digg is broken. If I want to read xkcd, I’ll go to xkcd.com. Or digg.com.

    It’s pretty much bullshit now – all of Digg is Huffington Post, xkcd and cracked.com spam sniping, and submissions stolen from Reddit and 4chan. Great.

  42. I completely agree. Digg is broken. If I want to read xkcd, I’ll go to xkcd.com. Or digg.com.

    It’s pretty much bullshit now – all of Digg is Huffington Post, xkcd and cracked.com spam sniping, and submissions stolen from Reddit and 4chan. Great.

  43. Yea too bad there are 50,000 repeat stories or else you might actually be right.

  44. Yea too bad there are 50,000 repeat stories or else you might actually be right.

  45. I’ve been using Reddit for a few months now and it is much better than Digg but it’s still a long ways from perfect. I got a blog post to the front page once which never would have happened on Digg and I received a lot of comments, some of which were useful. However I think a system that in any way gives some users higher status than others (ex. friends, points, comment points…) is flawed because, over time people will learn to manipulate the system and what will end up making the front page are not the most interesting or popular stories but those that were submitted by users who have put in the most time and effort into manipulating the system and inevitably these users will be the same ones who are making profit off of driving traffic to the submitted story. Clearly this has already happened to Digg and in time it will happen to Reddit which is unfortunate because it works pretty well right now.

  46. I’ve been using Reddit for a few months now and it is much better than Digg but it’s still a long ways from perfect. I got a blog post to the front page once which never would have happened on Digg and I received a lot of comments, some of which were useful. However I think a system that in any way gives some users higher status than others (ex. friends, points, comment points…) is flawed because, over time people will learn to manipulate the system and what will end up making the front page are not the most interesting or popular stories but those that were submitted by users who have put in the most time and effort into manipulating the system and inevitably these users will be the same ones who are making profit off of driving traffic to the submitted story. Clearly this has already happened to Digg and in time it will happen to Reddit which is unfortunate because it works pretty well right now.

  47. I have preferred reddit over Digg for at least a year now without ever really pushing myself to figure out why. I think that your reasons are quite good. However, I’d like to add that the commenters at reddit can be way more hilarious and less spiteful than diggers. There is also an established way of getting the funniest reddit comments to the front page and that really enforces the sense of community there. Casual redditors can easily understand why commenting through reddit and participating in the discussions can be a rewarding experience. Whereas, the comments on Digg tend to only be for the super power users.

  48. I have preferred reddit over Digg for at least a year now without ever really pushing myself to figure out why. I think that your reasons are quite good. However, I’d like to add that the commenters at reddit can be way more hilarious and less spiteful than diggers. There is also an established way of getting the funniest reddit comments to the front page and that really enforces the sense of community there. Casual redditors can easily understand why commenting through reddit and participating in the discussions can be a rewarding experience. Whereas, the comments on Digg tend to only be for the super power users.

  49. Capitol62 says:

    SHHHH!!!! Don’t tell people this stuff!

    Also, don’t pressure Reddit to “pretty” up. A lot of us who have been there awhile like it the way it is. If you turn off the damn thumbnails it gets even more vanilla, aka, better.

  50. Capitol62 says:

    SHHHH!!!! Don’t tell people this stuff!

    Also, don’t pressure Reddit to “pretty” up. A lot of us who have been there awhile like it the way it is. If you turn off the damn thumbnails it gets even more vanilla, aka, better.

  51. SaiphArrai says:

    I like Reddit for the relevant and interesting material I can find there. Every other article on Digg seems to be a top-ten list.

  52. SaiphArrai says:

    I like Reddit for the relevant and interesting material I can find there. Every other article on Digg seems to be a top-ten list.

  53. I’m new to Reddit (gave up on Digg) and I find it sends me a lot of traffic (sometimes over 1,000 visits per day). But the comments. Ugh. The comments. I’m training myself not to read them. More often than not they’re unduly mean and antagonistic. I have to remember they’re coming from people outside my normal circle of readers. Still, they sting sometimes.

    I believe StumbleUpon is a better way to get new subscribers over the long run. Reddit is simply a traffic boost.

  54. I’m new to Reddit (gave up on Digg) and I find it sends me a lot of traffic (sometimes over 1,000 visits per day). But the comments. Ugh. The comments. I’m training myself not to read them. More often than not they’re unduly mean and antagonistic. I have to remember they’re coming from people outside my normal circle of readers. Still, they sting sometimes.

    I believe StumbleUpon is a better way to get new subscribers over the long run. Reddit is simply a traffic boost.