Digg Town Hall Summary

This is a guest post by Esteban Panzera, he writes about SEO and SMM in his personal Blog.

Digg Town Hall

Today at 9 PM EST started the first Digg Town Hall Webcast, which could be seen by using Ustream. Everyone had the opportunity of watching and listening to Kevin Rose (Digg’s Founder) and Jay Adelson (Digg’s CEO) answer questions and tell us about the new Digg features. What they actually did is took the top 20 questions from here sorted by most number of Diggs and answer them.

In case you missed what they said, here you have a summary of everything:

New Gadgets for:

  • IGoogle
  • Myspace
  • Netvibes

Some New Features:

  • New comments system: they are still working on it, but they will roll out on April (they are targeting to get it out on April). You can see the new features it will have over here.
  • Recommendation Engine: new way to explore stories and find cool stories before they become popular by checking what you have Dugg and what might be of interest to you, so that you don’t have to browse thousands of stories


  • 26 Million Unique Visitors per month.
  • 10,000 submissions per day.
  • More than 200 Million Diggs since launch.
  • 180 new frontpage stories per day before algo change. 120 new frontpage stories per day after algo change.

Information given on the answers:

  • There are not any moderators in the site, the moderators are really the users.
  • 1 Admin that is on 24 hours a day permanently checking the site.
  • There is a system that detects, find spam and removes it (that is what people call autobury).
  • Lots of time and effort put to find spam.
  • The system is designed so that you need diversity to succeed. They made this change so that Digg is not controlled by a small group, they don’t want super users to have ALL the power. This is the reason why some stories need more Diggs to make it to the frontpage, diversity is the key.
  • Transparency: stories stay there, doesn’t matter if they are buried or incorrect.
  • Users spamming get contacted, not just deleted or banned, they have chances before getting removed.
  • Black List: spammers get in a kind of black list so that they don’t spam anymore.
  • Dupe detection and search are broken, they are working on solutions to that.
  • Support Forum Creation: they think it is a great idea and they are working on that.
  • Diversity is not just same people Digging.
  • Stories with enough diversity are the ones that go to the frontpage.
  • Transparent Buries: they are not doing it because they don’t want people to stop burying because others may feel angry with them. They don’t want a bury competition (you bury me, so i bury you).
  • They will start showing number of buries and positive votes on comments.
  • Comments can be deleted during the edit period.
  • They still don’t comment if they are selling Digg.
  • Daniel, the creative director, doesn’t want a button to delete all shouts to prevent people delete them accidentally.
  • They are working on a way so that users can have more private communication.
  • They suggest that if you find someone (a top user for example) submitting something that was already submitted, to post the link to the original submission as a comment.
  • They will probably remove podcasting and use the standard digg process to let people just submit their favorite episodes.
  • The system is always getting tweaked so that it improves stale stories getting frontpaged.
  • There will be a recommended stories section on upcoming (recommendation engine).
  • Diversity is about who, where and questions like that, they check all your history to see that you are not gaming the system.
  • Bloggers that submit every post to digg (spam) get some chances before getting banned.
  • People is trying to game Digg by: creating lots of accounts and digging a story, paying for Diggs, hiring a pool of people to Digg a story, and lots of other ways.

The next Digg Town Hall Webcast will be May 28th and there will be a meetup in Chicago on July 23rd.

Here are some reactions from some of tonight’s attendees:

Digidave – well: I’m glad they opened up a line of communication. That’s the biggest complaint I’ve ever had about the site – I feel like I’m engaging with a brick wall. I hope they can figure out a way to make the communication more regular and open – not just every 2-3 months during a town hall, but with a real active forum. I always gave it to them on faith that the algorithm changes were for the better. What I want is somebody to respond to emails, answer questions, etc. Still – this is a step in that direction. I think they answered most of the questions very well – with the exception of one or two that they started to answer, but left me wanting a little more.

cgt2099: Screw Digg. Come over and join me at Mixx.

silentjay74: Still seems like riot control to me. Appease the masses and disarm the pitchforks. Feed the peasants.

oboy – JD Rucker: I like the fact that they are trying to communicate. I’m hugely disappointed that they were running out of time after 1 hour. Give me a break. Surely they got a ton of questions (I sent one in myself) and they got to 4 of them before having something more important to do. For a first one, it wasn’t terrible.

Danzarrella: It was good to hear them get into the idea of diversity of diggers, and how number of votes is only one part of the picture. I’m also excited for the collaborative filtering, personalization features they mentioned.

Scott Clark: From an SEO/SEM perspective, it would be good to see who’s doing the buries….because the bury-brigade attacks SEO/SEM postings IMO. They sounded a bit closer to bury transparency.

We’d also like to give a shout out to Mark Dykeman for live Twittering the beginning of the webcast.


  1. JD Rucker

    My only real problem is that it wasn’t really a town hall meeting. They could have taken the list of questions, recorded a response, and aired it. The whole point of a town hall “meeting” is to allow reactions. Follow-up questions are the real juice at a meeting. I will give them more benefits of my many doubts and hope that the next is much more interactive. Four follow-up questions spanning 3 and a half minutes? Weak.

    Otherwise, it could have been worse. At least there’s progress.

    JD Rucker’s last blog post..Name that Nerd

  2. brian

    @JD Rucker: agreed, it would have been much better had they truly opened things up to the floor. We’ll see the follow up in May.

  3. Mark Dykeman

    Brian/Esteban: good post and good summary, thanks for the shout out. I have my own post at Broadcasting Brain as well.

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..Web 2.0 idols meet with? a camera

  4. w0lfh0und

    I was certainly never contacted before being blacklisted. I did however email them three times and receive no response whatsoever. I also know that this has been the case with several others. It is a blatant lie.

    It’s good to see an admission to the existence of an auto-bury algorithm. The last time they were asked the response was, “why would we want to do that?” Caught in another lie, their integrity is zero.

    w0lfh0und’s last blog post..100 Writing Tips


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