Thoughts on Digg’s Latest Features: Thumbs Up

Thumbs UpWhen I was at Pubcon last week, Digg launched its highly anticipated images section. And while you’ve all come to expect my rants about Digg, I simply cannot deliver that this time around.

I’ll start by saying that I was at first skeptical about the pictures section. Truthfully, I understand the reasoning behind separating videos and podcasts from news: videos and podcasts require more attention whereas many news stories already include pictures and adding an images section can be construed by some as redundancy. However, I’m not complaining about the new changes — at all. In fact, the new Digg pictures launch has been bunched up with other great features that I’m quite happy about. For example, Digg has finally acknowledged that productivity and lifehack websites deserve a section of their own, so they launched a “Lifestyle” section with its more universal taxonomy. I’m glad I no longer have to put those stories in “offbeat news.” :)

Let’s walk through the new features and what has changed on the Interface.

First, when you go to Digg’s submit page, you’re now greeted with three options. Are you submitting a news story? Is it an image? Is it a video?

Digg Submit New

At this point, you input the URL. If it’s a news story, you can even choose a thumbnail (that will appear on the upcoming list or on the top right corner) if Digg is able to locate one for you. Sometimes, the thumbnails don’t quite cut it, so your best bet is to go with “No Thumbnail.”

Digg Submission Page

Then, choose your desired category. Fortunately, there are a lot of more pertinent categories as of this new launch:

Digg Universal Taxonomy

Once you submit the story, Digg verifies that everything is Kosher. (I’m only including this screenshot because I really like this quote.)

Digg Submission Check

Here are four news stories on Digg’s upcoming list with and without thumbnails. The ones with the thumbnails clearly stands out above the others, but either way, you’ll need to focus on those good headlines because most folks are looking at the title and not so much the resized image.

Digg News Thumbnails
Digg: New Thumbnails

And here’s what a submitted image looks like. Note the placement of the image on the left hand side.

Digg Image Submission

You should note is that if you’re looking at the Digg upcoming page and want it to be comprehensive with all types of submissions, you should be visiting http://digg.com/all/upcoming/most.

Overall, while I still don’t like not being able to Digg my friends’ stories easily (see image below) and I still cannot stand shout spam (although to their credit, Digg recently addressed some shout concerns), this change by Digg was actually for the better. There are a few things that need fixing, but I’m certain that Digg is aware of the problems right now:

Digg: Friends' Submitted Page
Image: Unable to Digg friends’ stories easily because of the absence of a “Digg this” button.

  • When I submitted a story earlier this week, I got an error informing me that “An unknown submission error has occurred.” I tried again and the submission was immediately appended with a _2. No, it wasn’t a duplicate. :P
  • Font color actually matters. The “submitted X hours X minutes ago” is now in maroon bold and confuses individuals (read: me) who think that those stories have gone popular. It would be nice for Digg to revert to the normal black font and to use the maroon bold to differentiate between popular stories and upcoming stories. (It would be nicer if Digg would use a third color to indicate the a story has been buried, but I won’t push my luck.) ;)
  • Somehow, I think there is just a bit of redundancy with the “submitted” line here, which appears to be the case for both videos and images.
    Digg Submission Line Error
    As long as you move the “submitted time” to the correct place and keep the font color the same, I’ll be happy. :)
  • The description for video and photo submissions is only viewable on the main page of the submission. You can’t see it in the preview, unfortunately.
    Digg: Preview Your Submission
    (That said, headlines matter even more for videos and images for the time being.)
  • Digg friends’ submitted pages still don’t always load (and that’s been a problem since Digg rolled out its new changes in September). Sometimes, you have to hit refresh at least 20 times (which takes a considerable amount of time since Digg is not particularly fast in this area).

So, Digg, nice work this time. It would be awesome if you chose to consider my earlier feedback (keep the shouts for those who want them but let us Digg our friends’ stories from the friends/submitted page) but overall, this is actually a step in the right direction. Thanks guys.

Tamar Weinberg is a hustler and juggler. She is the VP of Marketing at Ruxly Creative, a creative marketing agency. She's the Director of Sales at Internet Marketing Ninjas, a 100+ employee search engine marketing agency located in upstate New York. She also rocks global sales at financial media publication Wall St. Cheat Sheet. Finally, she is the Chief Strategy Officer of Small Business Trends. Oh wait, and she's also the community manager at Namecheap. Yeah, like a boss.

10 Comments

  • December 17, 2007

    Rami Taibah

    At the risk of stating the obvious:

    1-The dupe process renders very inefficient results. Miles away from your content
    2-The whole process is a bit slow

    Cheers :)

  • December 17, 2007

    Tamar Weinberg

    Why yes, but those were problems that existed prior to the images and taxonomy update. I’m pretty sure Digg knows about those issues (since I’m sure I mentioned it at least once). This post was more to highlight that they are doing a good job too, and coming from me (I’m a huge critic of Digg), it should hopefully be a breath of fresh air.

  • December 17, 2007

    Edith

    I’m very surprised that you didn’t point out how much Digg’s taxonomy and image submit looks like Mixx’s. Digg was scheduled to release their stuff in September. Mixx comes out and makes a big ole splash, and the release gets pulled back 2.5 months and it comes out looking like Mixx.

    I’m just sayin…

    -Edith01
    banned ages ago at Digg and now at home at Mixx

  • December 17, 2007

    Tamar Weinberg

    Edith, you make a good point. I bet that Digg was feeling the pressure to innovate rather than stagnate since they haven’t been releasing any iterations of the application that has been to the public’s satisfaction. I bet that Mixx (especially the pressure on TechCrunch) had much to do with it.

  • December 17, 2007

    Jihan Lee

    Wow Tamar, you are not whining about digg this time =P…Haha jokes aside, i do like the new submit feature and the new image section, but the damn profile section and going to friends sections and everything else is so effing slow. RAWR =)

  • December 17, 2007

    Greg Davies aka cGt2099

    Great article, Tamar. Aside from the obvious reasons though, I’m sticking with Mixx – they were first with an images section. Again, good article, as always. Kudos \m/

  • [...] Thoughts on Digg’s Latest Features: Thumbs Up [...]

  • December 21, 2007

    FatLester

    I have to agree with CGt2099 — too little too late…

  • January 15, 2008

    Atropos (Rami Taibah)

    Another thing about thumbnail pictures. I usually do all my blogging on google docs and then export it. When submitting to Digg, it does not pick up the pictures in the article. I am no web programming expert, but I do understand that my blog is basically hot linking pictures from google docs, but isn’t there be some kind of a work around?

  • January 18, 2008

    Lapp

    I give a thumbs up to the girl in the photo giving me the thumbs up!