Archives for August 2008

Gaming Digg’s Shout Sytem – Which Type of Shouter Are You?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about Digg – or anything else for that matter. Over the past probably year or so, there have been quite a few changes to Digg, most of which were good, some of which were eh, and a couple that were just plain terrible.

I feel that the biggest and most substantial change has been Digg’s addition of the Shout system. While there are things that could be done to make the system better – I’ll get into these thoughts later – overall, I like the Shout system. I think it makes Digg much more of a social site as opposed to simply a news repository.

For the three of you who may be unaware, Digg’s Shout system essentially allows you to send a submission or message to any, some, or all of your friends and, in some cases, other random users. Before the Shout system, it was hard to communicate with your friends and other Digg users. Now, it’s a breeze.

As one would expect, people have been finding creative ways to try and game the Shout system in an effort to help get their submissions promoted to the homepage. If you’re one of these users, chance are you’re likely one of the following Shouters:

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am: These kind of Shouters send out a story once and only once. They figure if it’s a quality story, it’ll get Diggs and go from there. If it sucks, people won’t Digg. These are by far the best Shouters, and tend to only send the most interesting articles.

Tit-for-Tat: You tend to get lots of messages from these Shouters, because they will let you know every single time they Digg one of your submissions, and in return for their “kindness” will ask you to make sure that you either Digg, comment and/or shout their submission(s) as well. Much of the time, these users are trying to whore their own submissions from their own websites. After all, everyone loves a sudden surge of Digg traffic – with the exception of economy hosting servers.

What have you done for me lately: These guys love to prey on their new friends. If you befriend one of these Shouters, be prepared to receive a message like the following: “Thanks for adding me as a friend! Now, please Digg all of my submissions.” Half the time these guys don’t even add you friend, too, which is kind of annoying.

Zombies: These Shouters simply do not go away. They will shout the same story over and over and over, trying to squeeze one last Digg out of their friend list. Little do these guys know, but many Diggers, upon receiving a submission one too many times, accidentally find themselves hitting the bury link as opposed to the Digg button. Hmm, imagine that.

The Only Child: These Shouters conveniently have set up their account so that they are allowed to send Shouts, however, do not receive Shouts.  This way they can annoy everyone into Digging their submissions, however, they don’t have to put up with people doing the same to them.

So, which type of Shouter are you?

My main complaint about the Shout system is it’s still very cliquey. If you don’t have a good number of friends – or aren’t friends with the right people – the Shout system is essentially worthless if you’re using it to try and get a submission some Diggs.

And, even if you have friends, but can’t get any “Power Diggers” to become your friend, you’re still pretty much screwed. Hell, just look at the homepage on any given day and it’s pretty much the same residents occupying the valuable space.

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot that can be done about Digg’s caste system – it is what it is. There are, however, a couple changes that could be made that I believe would make the Shout system a little better:

  1. Do away with the limit on the number of friends you can send a shout to. It’s really annoying when I want to fire off something to all of my friends to send a shout to half my friends, wait five or six minutes and then send another shout out to my remaining friends. Just let me get it out of the way in one shot.
  2. In turn for this unlimited friend Shout, make it so that each person may Shout a story just one time within a 24 hour period. There’s nothing worse than signing into Digg in the morning and seeing that the same person sent you the same link 12 different times while you were sleeping.
  3. Make it so that you can either send and receive Shouts or you’re out of the Shout system all together.

So, on that note, would you mind Shouting this for me?