Nothing seems to be safe from politics or political correctness. Gizmodo posted an announcement yesterday which was followed up by pretty much the same announcement from Lifehacker giving rules on how they view Digging “properly” on their sites.
-No big yellow Digg badges for articles unless they have original content, new reporting, treatment, or photos. It’s not fair when we get the Digg for someone else’s work.
This has to be one of the more ridiculous rules, statements, whatever that I have seen in a while when it comes to the Web. First of all, good luck enforcing your so-called rules. Yes you can control the badges that appear on your site, however the community as a whole are not going to conform to your rules. As you saw with the “Digg Spam” article itself, putting in place barriers just fans the fire. If your not a believer about that statement take a look at how removing the unlock codes for Blu Ray sent the Digg community into an almost rebellious state posting the code over and over again.
Digg is a social bookmarking site that doesn’t take in regard for original work, it is simply a link to something that someone finds that is cool and wants to share with the community. Sharing shouldn’t be frowned upon when it is in fact the basis for the internet as a whole. Users of Digg are not going to track down the origin of specific content, that is not the goal of the site and it is nearly impossible in many instances anyway.
The Web has become a place where information is written, massaged, replicated, re-replicated, and fed to any number of locations, tools, and readers. Who knows where in the chain someone finds the information. At whatever point the user comes across the information there may be zero indications of who the original author was, or even that the site they are reading is in fact not the original author. It’s not right, but it’s the way of the world.
We Don’t Dig Digg
Why is it that Digg was singled out on this one? How many times are Gizmodo’s articles linked thousands of times on Del.icio.us, Reddit, or other similar services? Why are these services not mentioned and why is it ok for these sites to link to content that is not original, but for Digg it is not?
The Digg badges that are places on the site are helpful tools to get the story promoted by people who find it interesting. Why would you take the abilities of the user away? Yes they can still Digg the story but the convenience is gone. So really what are you proving other then making it more difficult for your own user base?
Many of the stories that get high marks on Digg are often prefixed with the sites name which gives the stories weight immediately. The Gizmodo story about Digg Spam is a prime example of this. The headline on Digg read: “Gizmodo: Digg Spam Sucks”. Many of Gizmodo’s stories get heavy numbers of Digg’s because it is in fact a very credible site when it comes to news.
Not putting the Digg badges on the stories really means a few less Digg’s because people are inherently lazy and probably won’t go find the story on Digg.com. Who is this dis-servicing though? I would have to say it’s the contents originator. Even though Gizmodo or another is getting the Digg’s the content author knows that it’s his content and can feel pride in the fact that it’s getting such heavy views.
If a site wants to help the person who created the content then they should give them credit more prominently so that users know it came from another source, even if they got to the site that replicated it through Digg. Without the giants like Gizmodo some of this content wouldn’t be seen by a large number of people.