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Digg This: Soon, Not Just for Geeks Anymore

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 11, 2006

Digg, the collaborative tech news site, will soon branch out beyond geekdom. At a Web 2.0 panel at the eBay Developers Conference today, President Kevin Rose said that in the next month or so, the popular site—where people vote on stories submitted by others, with the highest vote-getters moving to the top of the front page—will add coverage of world news, entertainment, politics, and more. Major redesign is in the works.

It’ll be interesting to see if Digg, and other nerdy sites like that are trying to branch out beyond tech, will appeal to the general population. I think what they’re doing—generally tapping into the zeitgeist using people’s own opinions of the best articles and posts—has great potential value beyond tech news. But I wonder if the sites themselves can stretch their brand that far.

Reader Comments


June 11, 2006 12:39 PM

kevin rose is the CEO of Digg? im moving back to slashdot


June 11, 2006 12:45 PM

I have mixed feelings about the RSS feed I get from Digg. Seems to me it's still pretty prone to manipulations, and rampant 'we're tech and yer not'.

Would be interesting to see if broader range would mellow that.

Growing communities ain't easy.

Michael Bommarito

June 11, 2006 1:46 PM

Thanks for the scoop, Rob.

I think the real question now is whether all zeitgeist are created equal (especially when it comes to marketability).

Also, was he any more specific about how finely the universal zeitgiest is partitioned in the new design? I ask because I wonder whether the Digg crowd can handle a front page filled with even more controversy than it already is.


June 11, 2006 2:03 PM

We have a french Digg-like (with other functionnalities) and it covers lots of non-geek categories, like politics, fun, people, economics, movies, music, and they all work fine, with a particular focus on politics :

Daryl Kulak

June 11, 2006 2:07 PM

I hope it works for Digg.

What I'm hoping to see is a healthcare.digg.

This would be great. This is one area where mainstream news is completely missing the real story.

Most Americans are not hanging on the news of the latest drug, which will supposedly solve some major health issue, only to let us down by producing some deadly side effect.

We're not listening to the racket on bird flu or whatever health scare.

We're not tuned in to a clinical study that contradicts what we thought we knew about hormone therapy, which study is subsequently contradicted by the next study to come along.

We're interested in real solutions to real health problems. Does a castor oil pack seem to work for arthritis? Great, let's hear about it. Is there a household cleaner that doesn't contain neurotoxins? Cool, tell me all about it.

I think Digg is the perfect technology to make this happen in healthcare.

Whether the Digg brand will carry over or not, I'm not sure. But the technology of user-generated news is here to stay, and I really hope Digg will make it happen in healthcare.


June 11, 2006 3:14 PM

This is clearly just an effort to become more like Newsvine.

Karl Prigge

June 11, 2006 4:26 PM has successfully been doing this for almost a year...

The major difference is that I doubt many people would be interested in hearing the musings of the average digg user on subjects like world affairs.

Corey Spring

June 11, 2006 4:27 PM

They will need to do a complete reboot to make mainstream news on digg work. Something much similiar to, which already does a pretty good job of incorporating mainstream news alongside user generated content.


June 11, 2006 5:55 PM

People already submit these things on digg, this way it'll get its own place and won't get mixed with the tech/nerd stuff.


June 11, 2006 5:58 PM

while I would love to see it, I'm skeptical of a digg-site working outside of tech - right now.

Currently, I think the most active, vocal internet users are tech-oriented... maybe this will change in the future...


June 11, 2006 6:21 PM

And Digg will be reorganized into the first... galactic... Collaborative Website! for a safer and more informed Society!


June 11, 2006 7:27 PM

It'll be interesting to see how Digg gets into these other fields, especially politics. I've been using a few sites like and for politics for a while now. I think the success of Digg's foray will depend on how it handles different political groups and what it does about thread vandals.


June 11, 2006 8:49 PM

LOL. Slashdot, Digg, etc all full of people who are rude to newcomers, elitests like MAc users. I occasionally read, but not daily and certainly dont waste my time with their communities. They are all overrated.


June 11, 2006 8:56 PM

Hey, imagine reading about Paris Hilton's dog giving birth to a bunch of puppies in Digg? That will be bad. Making Digg uninteresting. If you think that will not happen, check out how many searches are done on paris hilton alone.

I suggest that digg allows people to digg what categories they want. Since it is a social site, let the society speak.

it is in my post at


June 11, 2006 9:03 PM

i think this is step in the right direction, more of a cnn by the people for the people instead of just tech news


June 11, 2006 9:32 PM

As Karl said above, Reddit


June 11, 2006 9:34 PM

Forgot to add....

It lists the "front page" stories from reddit, slashdot, digg and other such sites in addition to the current popular or top flickr photos and google videos.

Rob Hof

June 11, 2006 9:41 PM

Oops, sorry Jay (the real CEO of Digg). I corrected the reference to Kevin, who is founder and president, not CEO.

hacker not cracker

June 11, 2006 9:49 PM

that would be so great if digg really branched out mainstream. then, i could ditch my paper!


June 11, 2006 10:31 PM

I think this is a good move by Digg. The site can sometimes feel restrictive because stories have to be "techy" in order to have a shot at the front page. I think a version that focuses more on politics or entertainment (and keeps these distinct sections separate from each other) would be a step in the right direction.

The digg model should work for just about any kind of topic. Sounds like winner to me. I think they should use subdomains for the different sections, like and


June 11, 2006 10:48 PM

I think the problem will be that you can't take the geeks out of digg. It is a *collaboratively edited* site.

And the tacks that your typical geek takes on world news (software patents, bullet trains), entertainment (anime, scifi), and politics (libertarian elected-official-hating) aren't exactly what Average Joe is looking for.

Piers Fawkes

June 12, 2006 12:08 AM

I think with the development of open source software like Pligg, we'll see the abundance of Digg like sites from a number of people. Check out the marketing news site we developed on the Pligg platform:


June 12, 2006 3:23 AM

sites like are already branching out to these different areas.


June 12, 2006 4:35 AM

There is already a open source digg-like software out there (Meneame) with TONS of clones:

There are over 115 digg-clones listed there already using the Meneame source code.

PS: I have nothing to do with Meneame. In fact I run a digg-like site for videos ( developed in-house, so :-)


June 12, 2006 7:54 AM

There is already a site devoted to celebrity and entertainment news. It can be viewed here:


June 12, 2006 8:59 AM

NO, they had better not add in non-tech stuff or it will kill digg's appeal.

Keep non-tech stuff separate at:

Jibran Ilyas

June 12, 2006 12:11 PM

It only makes sense to branch out... just look at that site, the growth has been phenomenal. No doubt the will get just about the traffic as myspace. Another winner in the making i say. Go digg!


June 13, 2006 6:02 PM

If you go to digg for the stories and not the community I suggest you checkout It pulls technology headlines from over a dozen tech news sites and lists them on one site. It's also got a single rss feed for all the headlines.

Dale Critchley

June 19, 2006 2:03 PM

I feel like they're stepping on everyone else. They certainly have the right to, but their specialty has always been tech. It'll do well, but little sites like will be squashed by this because we don't have celebrities promoting us.

Begs the question what will happen to DiggNation, too. It'll lose a lot of its appeal if it loses its tech focus. Maybe some branch/affiliate podcasts would be good?


November 5, 2006 2:38 PM

If you want to create a Digg-like, you can also use Akarrù, an application under GPL developpe by the team og the blogmemes network.


March 29, 2007 8:00 PM

why does everything in this world have to generalized? i fear the move for Digg's sake.

G4-Tech Tv used to be tech. now its SpikeTv..which means it started out to be good, then ok now it sucks.

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