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.” π
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?
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.”
Then, choose your desired category. Fortunately, there are a lot of more pertinent categories as of this new launch:
Once you submit the story, Digg verifies that everything is Kosher. (I’m only including this screenshot because I really like this quote.)
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.
And here’s what a submitted image looks like. Note the placement of the image on the left hand side.
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:
- 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. π
- 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.) π
- 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.
As long as you move the “submitted time” to the correct place and keep the font color the same, I’ll be happy. π
- 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.
(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.