I was recently reading an article about "Getting the Most Out of Digg" and it started to make me think about the time I have spent on the site. After consideration, I found my timeline on Digg to be a somewhat entertaining story of, dare I say, mild digg addiction. I'm sure those few who do visit this blog likely frequent Digg.com on a regular basis. Like me, they may have gone through the similar stages of Digg usage that I have. Or maybe I'm all alone in it. I have no clue.
Here is a story of what I feel might be the generic experience of an addicted user's time on Digg.
It all starts with a friend or acquaintance introducing you to the site. "Oh I found it on Digg" is a common phrase used after you ask them where they found that funny video or random news article that you thought was so entertaining.
"What's Digg?" you ask.
All you receive in reply is a mild scoff and a few choice words allotting to, "Just a website I visit". Not much more than that before they are back to browsing, leaving you befuddled but still interested.
Soon you find yourself wondering what this "Digg" is. A magical place where only hip internet users go to be informed of things of utter uselessness? Or perhaps you can really find informative material on it. With your curiosity peaked, you visit the site and start reading the submitted articles.
How could you not know this site existed?! You can get your thoughtless internet tidbits and important hard lined news articles all from one site! What a terrific place this Digg.com is. You continue to return to the site in the following days, slowly visiting more and more often through the coming weeks. There is a plethora of information at your disposal, you will be damned if you aren't going to enjoy it.
Wasted Productivity Rating: 3 out of 10
- Just getting started but you think you are already in love -
The Beginning of Something Great
Soon you find yourself visiting Digg.com briefly, several times a day, to get your slight information "fix"; sometimes loading Digg up as soon as you open your internet browser. You are loving the ease of finding entertaining stories from a single source but you start wishing you had easier ways to access them without directly going to the site. So you start to wonder, perhaps there is an easier way.
This is where your homepage steps in. Short of creating Digg.com as your actual homepage you look at using RSS feeds and other tools. iGoogle, the heartless bastard that it is, makes this easy. First a dedicated widget or two specifically for Digg's Popular Stories. Then, eventually a full tab covering a range of categories. You don't care. You are still saving time by making it easier to access only the stories you want to read.
Don't use iGoogle? Vista's (meh) RSS feed which sits straight on your desktop may be your choice. Or the newly debuted (and not so well received) DiggBar will keep your habit going. You still haven't quite fully dived in yet, but you've started with your big toe and are now waste deep in the wet, stinky world of Digg.
Wasted Productivity Rating: 4 out of 10
- You're saving time by using your homepage. Right? -
Taking the Plunge
Eventually you start to realize something. How pointless is it to read these articles if I can't keep track of what I'm finding? It only makes sense to create a user account, right? Something to maintain a record of what you have liked and disliked on the web. A place to reference that funky article about the blind kid who uses echolocation or the Norwegian couple caught having sex at 100mph. You know, the important stuff. So you give in and create a user account.
The changes in behavior are slight at first. You start by only digging the occasional story or two that you like. Then you find the comment feature and feel the deep nagging need to express yourself so you start to comment on a few stories in between. Then it is a few more stories, and soon you are commenting on what seems like almost every single thing you find interesting. You start keeping track of the diggs for and against you, who replied to what, and what types of comments you made that received the most diggs. All the while the time you spend on Digg.com continues to rise. Eating away at the other things you used to do on the internet - like looking at porn or something.
Wasted Productivity Rating: 6 out of 10
- Doesn't finally committing to something feel good? -
[Part 2 can be found here]