Digg vs. Slashdot (or, traffic vs. influence)
Digg vs. Slashdot (or, traffic vs. influence) (kottke.org) Kotke does a post on Digg vs. Slashdot based on a story he had in December that hit both sites independently with enough time to kind of measure effect and concludes, “over a period of about 4 days, Slashdot has sent more than 4 times the number of visitors to kottke.org than Digg — despite a 18-hour headstart for Digg — and the aftershock for Slashdot is much larger and prolonged. It’s been four days since the Slashdotting and kottke.org is still getting 15,000 more visitors a day than usual. This indicates that although Digg may rapidly be catching up to Slashdot traffic-wise, it has a way to go in terms of influence.”
Irrespective of who produces traffic I find myself using Digg much more these days to monitor news than I do Slashdot.
Kotke adds, “I am unconvinced that a voting system like Digg’s can produce a quality editorial product…it’s too much of an informational firehose. Bloggers and Slashdot story submitters might like drinking from that hose, but there’s just too much flow (and not enough editing) to make it an everyday, long-term source of information.”
Here I have to disagree with Kotke. It depends on how you use Digg. One of the things that is nice about Digg is that you can effectively filter your results by using RSS. Basically I set up RSS feeds to Digg search terms that I’m interested in. My RSS reader then only picks up Digg topics on where my interests are. I much prefer this to Slashdot where much of what is posted is of little interest for me. By setting up smart RSS feeds and thus filtering Digg you can reduce the firehose effect and I find it the most reliable fastest way to find breaking news on subjects that you are interested in today.
Of course every now and again when I’m bored I’ll go to Digg Spy and look at all new stories being queued, or to the front page stories, but 95% of the time I’m just monitoring the search RSS feeds that I’m interested in and here I find my results much more relevant than Slashdot and for sure news breaks much faster on Digg than Slashdot.