URL = http://www.digg.com/
Kevin Rose explains the workings of Digg at http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2007/07/kevin_rose_extended.html?:
"MJ: To those who've never heard of Digg, can you explain what it is?
KR: Digg is like your newspaper, but rather than a handful of editors determining what's on the front page, the masses do. Which, I've got to tell you, takes a lot of getting used to. There was a good six months there when I was freaking out because I didn't know what type of content the collaborative filter would produce. Fortunately, it's been solid, really cool, interesting news.
MJ: How does the filter work?
KR: Basically, any user who creates an account is an editor of the site. Right now we have a little over 1.2 million registered users who find interesting news and videos and podcasts. And when you find content you like—it could be a New York Times article or a blog entry or a video—you submit its URL to Digg, write a headline, choose the category that it belongs to, and it goes into our "Upcoming Stories" area, where thousands of users sift through it. If you find something there you like, you Digg it. Once enough people have Dugg the article, it goes to the front page, where 2.5 million daily viewers see it.
MJ: So, to the novice, it's sort of like a crowd-driven Google News, but with more diverse content?
KR: Absolutely, except rather than spiders crawling the news sites for stories, or automated feeds, someone has to physically submit a story to Digg. One of the things that's been crazy for us has been the speed at which news can break on Digg, because it's powered by a mass of humans versus a machine that has to go out and crawl and find the information and then determine its relevance mathematically." (http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2007/07/kevin_rose_extended.html?)
Critique of the lack of transparency of Digg's Collective Choice System
By RevoltNation :
"Digg is, in part, a game. It always has been - and that is one of the reasons we love it. That it helped us share useful, entertaining or interesting content only made it that much more fun.
Unfortunately the rules to the game have never been under the community's full control. As far as we can tell, the rule-makers barely listen to us. The latest change in the algorithm, along with rumors of secret editors, auto-buries, etc., have led us to believe it is time to break ties with Digg.com.
Here are a list of the main charges against Digg:
1) Lack of communication and disregard for the Digg community
Digg is not a newspaper, a magazine, or a blog. It produces no content of its own and is entirely dependent upon its users for traffic. Digg users hunt down the stories online, craft the descriptions and titles, digg the stories, provide all the comments. Despite this dependency, anecdotal evidence suggests that Digg has repeatedly failed to respond to its users and address their concerns.
2) Unexplained and unacknowledged banning of top users
cGt2099, Emobrat, and others who have submitted hundreds of quality stories to Digg were recently banned under suspicious circumstances. Digg did not acknowledge these bannings, nor make any public explanation as to why they took place. These are not the actions of a "democratic news site."
3) Lack of transparency
Digg only shows you the stories that people have dugg, but not the ones that are buried. This has resulted in the birth and flourishing of bury brigades, whose existence has gone unacknowledged, but which undoubtedly have the capability to shape what content gets onto the front page without any interference or objection from other Digg users.
4) The auto-bury list
For months, dozens of sites have been on an auto-bury list, often with no explanation whatsoever. These sites often get submitted to Digg and then are invariably buried after a certain amount of time. While it's up to Digg what sites it wants to allow, it's important that if it brands itself as a democratic news site, it makes clear why it bans these sites.
5) Repeated and flagrant disrespect of its top users
Digg's top users generate roughly 30-50% of Digg's front page content but repeated and unexplained changes to the Digg algorithm have penalized the ability of top users to get front page stories promoted. Perhaps worst of all, this has resulted in other stories from lower ranked users with less diggs being forced off the "Hot In Upcoming" pages and hurt their ability to shine." (http://revoltnation.blogspot.com/2008/01/digg-is-game-lets-play-for-real-this.html)