Monday, November 12, 2007

The Brilliance of Digg Spy - Our Greatest Community Feature

Digg's original, real-time tracking page Digg Spy, is one of the best and probably most overlooked ways to use the site. You can get a huge feel for the community from watching diggspy, and you don't have to just sit there staring at it either. Just set Spy to the 'Only Upcoming' view. You can bookmark it here: Tick off all the boxes, and let it run in the background whenever you're online.

One of the best advantages of surfing from Spy is the speed factor. We all know Digg is growing and the site is slow now; strained servers cause for really slow page loads, waiting, lots of clicking, and tab hell. In our short-attention-span world, Digg Spy seems to keep things fresh and moving. It's instant gratification.

Another enormous advantage Digg Spy has over any of the 'History' or 'Friends Activity' page views is that Digg Spy shows the URLs!!! This is huge plus since neither of those views do, and another click is required just to see it.

Here's what else you can watch for:

* What's popular and what isn't. (Buries to Diggs as they happen) You can watch your own submission loose in the wild after you post. Commented on. Buried. Or dugg 10 times in a few minutes

* Blind digging. If you watch diggspy, you'll see it. And who does it.

* On the other hand, you can see who is probably reading the stories they dugg by the frequency of their diggs that go by (or maybe a comment they posted). You can see a user's habits at a glance.

* You can also almost tell who is burying what sometimes, by the order of their diggs and then a sudden bury, on popular upcoming pages (if you are digg-nerdy enough to know the order of those pages).

* You can also see when the digg editors (who supposedly don't exist) bury a controversial blog post behind the scenes. No one buries it according to diggspy. Yet, it's buried (hmmm)

* New submits (did I mention with URL???) from your friends instantly.

* You can watch the absurdity of our community when 50 dupes get posted on a breaking story in a matter of 10 minutes.

* You can then watch the how well the community works as you watch all those dupes get buried en masse minutes later.

* You can see agendas, who is a right or left wing nut job, or a Ronbot. Who searched the URL of certain blogs, or, and then blind diggs them all.

Beside all of this, probably the most important general benefit of Digg Spy is that it simply helps you better engage with the digg community as a whole instead of just a subset of users (i.e. only your friends or favorite submitters). It's also a lot easier than trying to manually page through the entire upcoming queue!

You can catch great stories from everyman-users that pop up on diggspy, posts that would normally get lost in the upcoming swamp. The best stories on the Internet peek out on diggspy from random users. It is the great equalizer. Don't stay inside your friend's list...broaden the community. "Who is 'user1234'? I don't know...but he just posted a great story. Dugg!"

And, that is what digg is all about: finding, sharing, and promoting great stories. That's what enhances our community!

This post was a nerdy-brainstorm effort by guest blogger Kelly and Spinchange

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