Digg Reactions

I opened a prior post about my repackaged Digg feed like this:

I subscribe to Digg’s syndicated feed, although more to keep track of the zeitgeist than for information…

This generated a surprising amount of feedback relating to how valuable a source of information Digg actually is. Rather than offer sweeping generalizations, I’ll provide my reactions to the headlines currently on Digg until I hit one I might actually click through:

Plasma television screens set to be banned

An increasingly-obsolete technology has shortcomings.

6 Insane Prison Escapes That Actually Happened

Another list of apocryphal stories posted in order to get AdWords revenue.

We Screwed Up Windows 7 Beta, So Unlimited Downloads For All

A dubious story about how Microsoft may or may not be stupid which focuses entirely on release strategy and not on any technical issues of the product itself.

Top Selling Mouthwashes Linked to Cancer!

Bullshit.

Wimbledon champion Sidney Wood dies at age 97

Who?

Man allegedly pulls gun on paramedics for treating him

I would have thought armed patients would be a regular hazard for paramedics, who are routinely first-responders at shootings.

Quick fixes for 10 common Mac problems

I probably know all this already.

Man confused why girls don’t talk to him

An image post, but just from the preview I can see that it’s an image of computer text. Do Digg users have any notion of appropriate use of technology?

Two Google searches ‘produce same CO2 as boiling a kettle’

Wow, that much? Wait—do I have any idea how much CO2 it takes to boil a kettle? And why are we talking about CO2 and not just “energy”? Or at least CO2?

Nicest Pic of Brazilian Butterfly Flocks You’ll See ThisWeek

Not a very high standard to reach.

Solar and Wind Powered Portable Charger Unveiled at CES 2009

And the target audience for this product is? Is this really the first such product? There was nothing more interesting at CES this year?

Sneak Peak of Pixar’s ‘Up’

I don’t bother with “sneak peaks”.

Vintage Floppy Disk Art: Commemorating The Early Day of Tech view!

Meaningless description of something almost certainly of no interest whatsoever to me.

Interpret my dream please? [Y!Ans]

Another image of computer text.

Some Upcoming MMORPGS to Watch in 2009

Playing MMORPGs isn’t taking up enough of your life?

Scientists Discover Way to Levitate Tiny Objects

If the poster gave any impression of what scale of “tiny” we were talking about I might care.

Ubuntu and Its Leader Set Sights on the Mainstream

Shocking that someone running a Linux distribution would want it to go mainstream.

Europe ‘exporting’ measles to poor countries

Anti-science, anti-vaccine nitwits are killing people. I’m already familiar with the story.

CEA confirms Apple-related exhibits at CES 2010

If true, this will get better coverage from Mac-centric blogs.

$20,000 Electric Car: Toyota FT-EV

Unreleased product reports are sketchy enough; automotive concepts tend to lie very far from reality indeed; an estimated price of an unreleased automotive concept is close to meaningless.

Cardinals decimate Panthers to reach NFC title game

Who the hell is reading Digg to get sports scores?

Every Simpsons couch gag

I’m not that bored.

So, Does Gum Really Stay in Your Stomach For Seven Years?

No.

Best Free 3-Column WordPress Themes

Digg is not the place to get design advice.

GOP sees Franken as top enemy

Republicans dislike a charismatic liberal. What a shock.

British Climbers Die In The Alps

The headline gave me all the news I needed. Note to self: The Alps are dangerous.

Never Tell Them The Date… I mean odds

Useless description…and the original URL provided (and the page to which you are redirected by the link I provide above) makes very sketchy use of the # character. Authors who don’t design their URLs well know they don’t have information worth linking to.

The Magic of Mushroom Spores (pics & vid)

It’s remarkable that the Digg target audience is interested in mushroom spores but would like to learn about them without any of that pesky reading.

1 in 7 U.S. Adults are Illiterate

Really? Possible click-through.


That’s 30 stories to find one possible click-through. I’m usually able to scan headlines in under two seconds apiece (it’s actually closer to half a second per headline for Digg), and Digg posts around 140 stories each day, so subscribing to the Digg feed costs me about five minutes a day to find less than five stories I’ll actually read, and the vast majority of those will get less than 30 seconds of my attention. (This was the case with the “literacy” story above.) Still, Digg has the lowest signal-to-noise ratio of all my syndicated subscriptions, so I’m always on the verge of leaving it for another zeitgeist-tracking feed.