Is Digg a Game?

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Is the popular social media site, Digg.com, just a game?

Muhammad Saleem from The Mu Life Blog recently wrote about an interview he had with Fabrice Florin of NewsTrust, where Fabrice said the following

Digg is a game. It is entertainment, where people go in, and part of the game is to put in things that you like and hope that they make it to the top, and then your name gets associated with it. I have been in the industry for a while, and I can recognize a game when I see one. Digg has everything, it has the scoring (ranking) and the fun payoffs. It is first and foremost an entertainment experience.

I agree with Fabrice that Digg is a game. I often hear people brag about their Digg rank as if it were a competition (heck, even I have bragged about my rank), and Digg itself provides a “scoreboard” for all users to view the current rankings. However, Digg is more than just a game. It provides useful news and content to its visitors, but since users have a say in what becomes popular on the site and user contribution is ranked and made public there is also a competitive gaming and entertainment element to Digg.

I believe it is this gaming element of Digg that makes it so popular because it provides entertainment for those playing the game and it actually helps bring better quality content to the homepage, which benefits and attracts even those who aren’t playing the game. The Digg “scoreboard” gives users that like competition an incentive to actively participate and contribute to Digg. A user’s ranking only increases when one of his stories is promoted to the homepage and since poor quality content would have less of a chance to make it to the homepage submitters have an incentive to contribute the best quality content as possible. Submitting poor quality content or spam would just be a waste of time for those seeking to rise in the rankings since such content would unlikely make it to the homepage and boost their ranking or “score” in the game of Digg.

There has been much talk recently about the disproportionate amount of power that top digg users have. I personally don’t think this is a problem. These users have put in a disproportionate amount of hours contributing to and participating in the Digg community, and in my opinion make Digg a better place. The stories they submit are generally of better quality than those submitted by the average new user because they have learned from experience what type of quality content tends to get promoted and what tends to get buried. The top Digg users deserve the rank and power they have obtained because of many hours they have contributed to the Digg community.

These top users are playing the Digg game. They are motivated to participate by the hope of increasing their Digg rank. User rank and recognition is probably not the primary reason that many of the top digg users contribute, but I do believe it plays a role. Most visitors to Digg probably don’t even play the Digg game, but it is the few who do play that are making Digg a valuable site for all visitors.


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Chris Sandberg is an independent internet marketer from who blogs regularly about search marketing and internet business.

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