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Digg vs Groupthink  (View post)

Personman [PersonRank 8]

Friday, September 8, 2006
17 years ago5,701 views

This can lead to bad decisions which can lead to failure – like a dotcom
bubble, an airplane crash, a space-shuttle crash, or the meltdown of a
nuclear reactor.

Or America going to war.

Ramibotros [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

great article, philipp .. basically i thought about the same thing a while ago, except my language and content of what i wrote was much weaker :D : ..
digg isn't a democratic place for news anymore .. its fanboyism destroyed it, i also pointed out that the top stories submitted on digg were NEVER submitted by the top users, who are praised and dugg for. So the interesting stuff actually comes from the lower, random usersbase .. just like in wikipedia ..
About what u wrote about google: i think google has a bigger data-base than digg, the internet is huge. So it's hard for the top 10 results (which is what ppl care about) to be biased on a group of "friends" linkin to eachother. I think in most of the ratings on google are more based on the random evaluation, because it has a chance. On digg, on the other hand, the friends-groups are MORE and even more active than the normal , random users. So in Google the problem is less significant than on Digg..

Jon Henshaw [PersonRank 4]

17 years ago #

It would seem that the current and future Digg are going the opposite direction. They even cancel accounts at will, because their anti-fraud detection only looks at IPs (instead of something more clever), so if you have an office full of Diggers like we do (even just a small handful), they'll assume you're the same person and that you're trying to rig their system, and will ban your account. It's pathetic and offensive, and it's made us lose all interest in participating.

However, we do like their content, which is why we washed their public RSS Feed to create our own Diggless RSS Feed. The feed goes straight to the story and also has a link to the original Digg page (just in case your account hasn't been banned yet and you want to Digg it).

Andrew Hitchcock [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

Good post.

I imagine Google would also degrade link quality when one website is linked from websites with too much diversity (in addition to too little). For example, a tech website, dog website, and game website probably wouldn't all link to a phar*macy website.

John Krystynak [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

This whole digg self-examination thing reminds me of Clay Shirky's greatest essay: "A Group is its own Worst Enemy."

Clay laid out exactly what is happening to Digg back in 2003.

Near the conclusion I find this bit apropos as the Digg protesters have taken away their profile pictures in protest.

1.) If you were going to build a piece of social software to support large and long-lived groups, what would you design for? The first thing you would design for is handles the user can invest in.

Ben Miller [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

Coincidentally, in the days leading up to this uproar at Digg I happened to listen to a presentation by Ron Burt, a sociologist in the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

He is a social network theorist and has a vocabulary that allows him discuss things like the blocs of powerful voters emerging at Digg in systemic terms. That is, these things happen more or less because of the ways social networks operate in a world where information search is a not a costless activity. Thus, I believe he could explain much of what has happened without recourse to consciously formed groups who deliberately game the system.

It seems that some of the voters did what they thought was best without any attempt to manipulate the system or cheat. Early entry and consistently positive feedback gave them power, but this was power conferred by the sysem rather than something they conspired with others and cheated to get. Being painted in those terms no doubt rankles greatly.

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