This is a guest post by Muhammad Saleem, a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites.
Digg.com recently had a survey pinned to the top of the site's front page, that hints at some of the new features we can expect from the next iteration of Digg. Let's take a more in-depth look at these features and how we would like them to be implemented.
Feature: Digg Groups
This feature is clearly something that they are looking to bring over from Pownce but the implementation will be altered to suit the dynamic of the Digg community, and may end up being similar to the groups feature on StumbleUpon. On Pownce, you can make groups based on the different social and professional circles you have (for example "Digg friends", "Bloggers", "Family"), and organize people from within your network into these different groups. On Digg, however, people will be able to create groups on different topics of interest (for example "Firefox", "Apple", "Nintendo"), and other people will be able to join groups that interest them. Rather than Pownce groups, which are used to limit who you send a specific message to, these groups will be more like topical forums where people can have conversations on topics related to the group.
Feature: Customizable Alerts
Digg already has the initial setup for an alerts system. By going to email settings from your profile preferences you can opt-in to get email alerts for the following actions:
- When you receive a shout
- When someone requests to become your friend
- When a friend of yours accepts mutual friendship
- When a story you've submitted becomes popular
- When Digg has new feature announcements and other news
The expanded feature-set will include the option to get more information (i.e. more stats on submissions, a digest of relevant content that you might like but may have missed, etc,) and more customizable alerts on a daily and weekly basis. I have been using the current iteration of email alerts but for some reason I don't get an alert when a story I've submitted becomes popular.
Feature: NSFW Filter
Digg already has a profanity filter (which I am very happy for and have been using ever since it was implemented) and a filter for content that is not safe for work, will be a welcome addition, not only for people who are slacking off at work but also for Digg's younger audience.
You must be 13 years and older to register to use the Digg website. As a result, Digg does not specifically collect information about children. If we learn that Digg has collected information from a child under the age of 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. We recommend that minors between the ages of 13 and 18 ask and receive their parents' permission before using Digg or sending information about themselves or anyone else over the Internet.
And while a majority of the content on Digg is safe for most audiences, a filter indicating NSFW content will help us all out. It seems that the option will let users show or hide such content, however, a better option may be to allows users to highlight NSFW content, so that people can look at the title and summary of the submission and decide if they want to click-through or not.
Feature: Digg Achievements
When Digg removed the top Diggers list from the site, many people were unhappy about it but many more were glad because they didn't agree with absolute numbers and ratios as the right metric to use for judging the best community members on Digg. Hopefully the new achievements system will give out "awards" or "merit badges" in your profile based on metrics that everyone can achieve even without having been a member of Digg for a long time. Such metrics could include the following and others:
- Highest-voted (or otherwise good comment[s]) for the week.
- Highest-voted (or commented-on) story of the week.
- Most bizarre, unique, funny (etc.) submission or comment of the week.
- Most friends invited to Digg.
These can be used as balancing factors to the more traditional metrics of most number of promoted submissions, best weekly promotion ratio, and so on.
Feature: Recommendation Engine
This has to be the single most anticipated feature on Digg since the Images section. The recommendation engine promises to do what the fundamentally useless Digg visualization tools pretend to be doing, i.e., help users find interesting stories that are directly relevant to them and will be interesting for them based on their Submissions and Digging/Burying history on the site. The feature promises to be the killer app of Digg, that will really help take the socially driven aspect of filtering good content from bad content and algorithmically match it for relevance to bring you the best in social news.
Feature: Customize Digg
This is a feature that I personally think is a definite step in the opposite direction. The customize feature lets you filter content based on urls, and for example, lets you see the most popular stories from one site, i.e. the New York Times and so on. This pretty much defeats the purpose of social news and will probably get dropped from the upcoming features. Almost everyone I talked to, who has taken the survey, voted against this feature. [Ed: Unless you plan to filter for RWW content... kidding, kidding.]
Feature: Remote Digg
Remote Digg will be one of the most innovative new features on Digg. The feature aims to extend your Digging experience to other sites that you frequent that you wouldn't ordinarily think about in "Diggable" terms. You will be able to Digg everything from restaurants, to books, causes, services, i.e. everything. Think of this as Digg meets Facebook meets Amazon reviews meets Yelp. And all this information will be aggregated in your Digg profile.
With all the things that we can expect in the next few months, I can really say I haven't been this excited to see the next phase of Digg in a long-time. Especially considering that they are reaching out to the community at large to get feedback (usually they get feedback from limited focus groups).
Which new feature are you most looking forward to?