A site I use often to keep a view on “what’s happening” is popurls.com. It show lots of links, pictures and videos (Flickr, Youtube, iFilm, Wired …) but the part I use most is the top of the page: the 20 new hot links from the social bookmarking sites Digg, del.icio.us and Reddit.
I also find that I use the right part of the page (Reddit & del.icio.us) much more than the left (Digg) – just see the clicked (light-gray) links on the screenshot above. Today I read “Digg is for kids, Reddit is for grown-ups” and let me try to formulate why Digg seems to have less appeal for me.
One click too many
The three services work differently: on the del.icio.us part, when you click on a link, you go straight to the actual page. This means that the owner of the site sees a “popurls.com” showing up in his referrer stats. Reddit links you to a Reddit URL (e.g. http://reddit.com/goto?rss=true&id=xuvx) which immediately redirects you to the actual page. So on the surface, you can’t see the difference. Digg, on the other hand, insist of sending you to the Digg page first, where a too shirt description of link invites you too click through. No instant gratification.
Level of discussion
Both Reddit and Digg do more than just collect links, they also provide the platform to have a conversation about them. There is a difference in level of civility in both sites. While a Reddit user might add “I don’t agree because …”, the level of Digg comments is often more like “You loser! Whata pile of bullsh*t! …”, probably due to a younger audience. Since Digg forces me to see these comments when I click one of the links, I see too much of that.
I won’t deny that I’m a bit of a geek myself, but I like my news to be more of a mix of IT, human, political and cultural topics. To my feeling (that might be subjective) the topics on Digg are less interesting to me. Reddit is sometimes too much about American politics, but the rest of the topics are a mix better targeted for me. Del.icio.us is also quite my profile.
So that’s why I almost never look at the left column anymore. When there are interesting topics there, they typically also show up on the other two.