This is a guest post by Muhammad Saleem, a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites.
Digg for quite a while now. The new Digg 'recommendation engine' will purportedly look at your past submissions, Digging, and burying activity - and from all that recommend other stories that you might like. This system won't be much different from how Reddit's 'recommended' page works, or how StumbleUpon generally functions. While we wait for the Digg recommendation engine, which is perpetually 'coming soon', one enterprising Digg user has taken the initiative and built one himself. After putting in 200 hours of his own time, Dmytro Mulyava has come up with Digg Filter, an API based Digg story recommender.We have been hearing about an upcoming new way to discover content on
We had the chance to talk to Dmytro and ask him some questions about Digg Filter.
Before we begin, can you tell our readers a little more about yourself. Who are you, what you do, and how you got involved with Digg?
Sure, I am student at a business school here in Toronto and I am really passionate about the Internet and the things that it allows people to do around the world. I first heard about Digg through an article in Business Week in August of 2006 and thought to myself ÄúHey, thatÄôs a pretty neat idea!Äù. Since then I have found Digg to be a great source for things that wouldnÄôt be broadcasted by other media sources.
How active are you on Digg and what is your opinion on how the site has evolved since when you first joined and started participating in late 2006?
I lurk Digg a few hours a week and Digg some stories here and there, based on the content I find to be interesting. I am certainly not a power user Äì I never submit stories because I know my stuff is never going to make it to the front page. I love the comments Äì the top 5 (sorted by Diggs) for any story can be downright hilarious! Digg has been is growing at a very fast pace. While some feel that this is ÄúbadÄù because content quality is declining as the user base expands, I haven't actually noticed this.
Digg has many different visualizations and ways to discover new content. Which would you say is your favorite?
I like Digg Spy. It is simple yet useful. There is something addicting about watching the stories scroll through and see how users are interacting with them (submitting, Digging, burying, and commenting).
But even given all these tools, you felt that there was something missing in the features Digg has and you decided to make a service of your own called Digg Filter. Tell us a little about this service and how you envision it being used.
The idea behind Digg Filter is very simple. I want to help people discover content based on their past preferences. Digg Filter looks at usersÄô Digging patterns and tries to ÄúguessÄù what fresh content they will enjoy.
There are many, many stories submitted to Digg on a daily basis, more than anyone could ever sift through. Most of these stories never make it to the front page Äì and as such are undiscovered by the majority of the people. Hopefully the tool will help users find these Äúhidden gemsÄù that the majority of the community moderated so they couldn't be promoted, but may be of interest to you.
I see the service being used by Diggers who are in a rush to find Äúthe stories that matterÄù without flipping through many pages in the ÄúUpcomingÄù section or relying completely on the front page of Digg.
Could you give us an idea of how these results are formulated? What specific data are you taking into account?
Digg Filter looks at pretty much everything. (grin)
There are a couple of things that worry me about the site though. First of all, you use Digg in the url and the name of your site, something that could get you a cease and desist from Digg, and second, Kevin Rose has already mentioned that an official Digg recommendation engine is coming soon. What impact do you think these two things may have on your service?
Those are two very valid concerns! If the folks at Digg want me to shut down the service, so be it. It (Digg.com) is their site and their trademark. I am obviously using their API to piece this together. They can unplug me at any minute and I understand that and hope that they will be a little more reasonable about it.
As far as the official Digg recommendation engine is concerned, I started work on my recommendation algorithm before I found out that their recommendation engine was in the works. When I did find out about their engine, my first instinct was ÄúOh damn, I've wasted so much time for something that will end up being useless!Äù [However] I decided to finish DiggFilter and put it online regardless.
How much time would you say you've spent on making this service?
Approximately 200 hours, give or take a few.
We think that the service is a great one, and we hope that Digg gives you some support and at least thanks you for your efforts. Thank you Dmytro for taking the time to answer our questions.