Skewing up online news

A few years ago, before I had a regular set of blogs to read every day, before I used a feed reader, I was a complete Digg junkie. Digg is a news site that lets users vote for what stories to promote to the front page or to bury. Now I haven’t used the site in years, largely because the quality and relevance of the stories that were promoted fell sharply as the site became popular. This recent commenter (“Samual Iglesias”) at Tech Crunch articulated remarkably well my own thoughts on the matter.

I think if anything hurts Digg, it’s the abundance of sensationalist headlines that simultaneously lead to spottily fact-checked and poorly written articles (suggesting that people don’t READ these things, just “digg” the sentiment expressed), and also alienate users of minority demographics with respect to the Digg community. A story that casts Bush in a positive light? A story that criticizes iPhone? A positive story about religion, or the (possibly detrimental) politicization of scientific communities? If Digg expands, it’s into its fixed demographic of h4×0rs and mostly left young male adults, and I’m not sure what conquering this self-informed, heavily participatory group will mean for the future of the internet. Is this revolutionary in the grand sense?