What Kevin Rose and Digg Knows

ft2-kevin-rose-small.jpgKevin Rose got a brief ten minutes to talk at the Web 2.0 Summit about what Digg knows and has learned in the last year of their amazing growth as a darling of the Web 2.0 world.

Some Digg Stats
Kevin started out by mentioning that the 100,000th story to reach the front page of Digg occurred with the story about Rumsfeld stepping down. It hit the AP Wire, and three minutes later was submitted to Digg. Four minutes later, it had hit the front page. In contrast, it took 25 minutes after it hit the wire before it hit the front page of Google News, which is an automated process. Humans were faster than machines in this case.

Another interesting fact was that 37% of diggs came from the Digg Swarm and Digg Stack tools. They are now working to give these tools to web publishers to see the data for their site in this format, so you can see through Swarm or Stack how stories on your site are being Dugg.

They are also releasing a Flash toolkit to allow developers to create similar tools with flash interfaces. He showed a funny (and admittedly lame) example of stories being flowers in a field, where honeybees as Digg users come and land on the flowers when a Digg occurs.

Gaming Digg
Another big effort is fighting the gaming of the system. They have one full time employee who is in charge of this, and they are trying to build more tools that allow the community to flag and get rid of the spam.

There are services like the SpikeTheVote coming out to try and game Digg in organized ways, but Kevin says that they don’t know what they’re doing behind the scenes to identify these things and defeat them. He showed a few internal tools that graph what a healthy story looks like compared to unhealthy ones that have suspicious behavior. They’ve created baselines that make it easy to find the trash.

Where They Are Going
Digg is making a strong effort to bring more features together that suggest and recommend stories you may like as well as introducing you to people on the site who share your interests.

Also some efforts are being made to show upcoming stories and make them more obvious to people early on.

They have 20 new features coming out next in the next week or two, their biggest release since their version three launch.

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