Yahoo Buzz - the beta social news service that is letting blogs get coverage on the world's most trafficked website. Our initial turn on yahoo.com happened late at night, 10pm PST, and lasted around 3.5 hours. It happened to our post about Wikipedia getting a print version. The verdict? While it didn't result in the avalanche of traffic that other publishers have reported, it still sent 45,000 page views to RWW in 3.5 hours outside prime time and where our link was the bottom-right of 4 links. That is more than a typical prime time digg or slashdot homepager. But what surprised us the most was the number of comments that Yahoo visitors left!Last night ReadWriteWeb got its first link on the Yahoo homepage, thanks to
Just before 10pm, the Wikipedia story had around 30 comments - not bad for our site, which generally gets high quality comments and not much of the inane 'filler' comments you see on other blogs. But after yahoo.com linked to the story, it raced up to 150 comments. That tells us that Yahoo users are much more engaged with the content they click to, than users from digg or slashdot.
What's more, many of the comments to the Wikipedia post were thoughtful and added to the discussion. OK many of the comments were critical of the post, it must be said. But still, you could tell that people were passionate about the topic. Here's an example, comment 64 from Sandy:
"I use Wikipedia almost everyday. It's a great and very informative website. I look there for info before I check other information websites. And I see how they can get away with this but do I think it is fair and right? Absolutely NOT.
In fact, Poetry.com does the same thing. They have these poetry contests and people from all over are enticed into sending in their own personal work thinking they will be made famous and receive a big prize if they win, etc. But that doesn't happen at all. [...]"
So Yahoo Buzz is not only sending large quantities of traffic to blogs, it is also sending people that want to comment - and who leave interesting, informed comments. By contrast, digg and slashdot traffic usually doesn't result in many extra comments on blogs - those people usually leave their comments on digg / slashdot. That's fair enough, as those two sites have thriving communities. But to me and many other new media publishers, it's yet another plus to Buzz over digg and slashdot.
RWW on yahoo.com
Listen Up, Digg
Also, and I don't mean to harp on about this (but I will), digg's continued systemic problems are not helping them. Favoritism of certain publishers (whereby only a few publishers in each category dominate the digg frontpage), manually taking power off power users, manipulating the topics that get to the digg frontpage, issues with gaming, charges of censorshop, the endless barrage of sensationalism, repetitive lists and Kevin Rose stories on the frontpage - all of these things and more have damaged digg's brand.
Quite simply, Yahoo Buzz is looking more and more like the future of social news. Digg needs to take a few pages from Buzz's book if it's to survive in the mainstream.
Bigger and More Engaged Traffic
ReadWriteWeb has been pretty bullish on Yahoo Buzz. We published one of the few positive reviews of Yahoo! Buzz when it opened, and in March we published some traffic statistics from Yahoo! and called the site a game-changer. As we noted in a recent update, the "Buzz-effect" is potentially orders of magnitude larger than the similar "Digg-effect."
Yahoo Buzz isn't perfect - it is a select number of publishers (although still in my personal view much fairer to publishers than digg) and participation on the Buzz property itself is lower than on digg.
So it's not perfect... but the traffic it sends publishers is both bigger and more engaged with the original content than traffic sent by digg or slashdot.