Social news site Digg.com saw its share of ups and downs through 2010, particularly after the launch of V4. The tumultuous last months of that year had many wondering if the site would make it through 2011. It not only made it through but improved dramatically with the launch of hot new features and a glimmer of hope. Through the wave, one thing has remained constant: the ever-growing diversity of content.
The site has seen its share of spam gracing its coveted front page. It can still send thousands of visitors to websites making it a target of spammers. Most of the spam problems that have plagued them in the past have been eradicated, leaving only the occasional cleverly placed poor piece of content that “pops” to top news. As you’ll see below, there heart and soul of the site is still intact. The Digg culture has changed over the years, but certain things remain the same. Digg loves tech. It loves politics. It loves offbeat. Everything else seems to be just filler.
Below, we examine the top 10 stories of 2011. They truly mark the personality of the site going into 2012.
- All women. Please stop wearing these. They look horrible. – If there’s one thing that will always grace the front page, it’s messages delivered through images. It’s one of the reason that VisualNews loves the site so much; visualizing the message is the key to our success and remains a strong feature of the site. In this story, the message is stated in the headline and the image delivers. (On a side note, we totally agree with the message. Ladies, if that’s you, please stop.
- Black Eyed Peas Owned on Wikipedia – A favorite pastime of Digg and social media sites in general is the embarrassment of celebrities. It has become a part of western culture to find the ridiculous aspects of the rich and famous and highlight them in epic manner. The Black Eyed Peas, love them or hate them, fall in the category of “celebrities who need to be brought back down to earth sometimes.” Digg happily obliged.
- Fox News uses Tina Fey photo for Sarah Palin report – Mainstream media in general is often the target of Digg attacks, but Fox News generates more attacks than all of the other channels combined. When their bias made apparent, Digg is there to point it out. When their bias happens to include a mistake made on national television (especially when the mistake involves the beloved Tina Fey and the reviled Sarah Palin), the wolves will be there to chew on the bones.
- Oops! FBI Confirms Roswell UFO Incident – This particular story touched two different nerves for Digg users: the geeky side that has an interest in Roswell and the anti-government side that wants the truth revealed. Here, the X-Files tagline, “The truth is out there,” rang true in glorious form.
- Ten Signs You’re an Aging Gamer – Gaming is at the core of Digg users. A good number of them are gamers and many of those gamers aren’t spring chickens anymore. That’s why this touched many in the Digg community – two groups, really. It touched the gamers who are aging and it touched the youthful gamers who are pwning us daily on Xbox Live.
- Infographic: F*ck you, PETA – It may not be the most visually stunning infographic ever designed but the message was easy to digest. PETA is not popular on social news sites in general and this graphic pointed out their flaws as well as the hypocrisy that happens within the organization. Digg loved it.
- Fox News Doesn’t Know Where Egypt Is [pic] – More Fox News. More Fox follies, this time over a simple question of geography.
- Atheist Wins Right To Wear Spaghetti Strainer As Religious Headgear – The ridiculous in society will always take center stage on Digg. In this case, words cannot begin to tell the story, but as you can tell by the headline, it’s clearly ridiculous.
- Macho Man Randy Savage Dies In Car Accident – Digg might love to laugh at celebrities when they fail, but the community also honors those who have fallen. The news of Randy “The Macho Man” Savage’s unexpected passing hit the news site hard. There may have been bigger deaths this year, but Savage’s story was popular throughout the site.
- Teenager Gets Ass Whoopin for Acting Hard On Facebook Video – Righteous justice. There is perhaps nothing that gets the community riled up quite like it. The video is hilarious but also touches on cultural and social media points that need to be made. Watch the video, then take a look at the comments on the Digg story. They’re quite telling.
Below, we have Digg’s visualization of these top stories from 2011. Click to enlarge.