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A memedigger uses explicit human-powered voting systems to deliver the most popular, relevant or interesting items.

Difference between Memetrackers and Memediggers

A Memedigger is not to be confused with Memetrackers

"a memetracker is a service that finds the most talked-about news and ideas by analysing the linking behaviour of blogs. It’s based on implicit actions. A memedigger, meanwhile, uses explicit human-powered voting systems to deliver the most popular, relevant or interesting items. Since they require human action, these sites normally have a verb associated with them: Digg It, Shout It and so on." (

Typology of Memediggers or Consensus Web Filters

By Kevin Kelly, at

"Like a lot of people, I find that the web is becoming my main source of news. Some of the sites I read are published by individuals, but I find the most informative sites are those published by groups of writers/editors/correspondents, including those put out by Main Steam Media (MSM). However for the past three months my main source of "what's new" has been a new breed of website that collaboratively votes on the best links.

This genre does not have an official name yet, but each of these sites supplies readers with pointers to news items that are ranked by other readers. None of these sites generates news; they only point to it by filtering the links to newsy items. Using different formulas they rank an ever moving list of links on the web. The velocity of their lists varies by site, but some will have a 100% turnover in a few days. I check them daily.

This new genre fits into a whitespace between already occupied niches of social web sites. In the established center are the group-produced sites such as Slashdot, BoingBoing, WorldChaning, Huffington Post, to name just four very popular ones, where a very small cast of editors (under a dozen or so) collaboratively filter and annotate the links to other sources. A daring and effective extension of this method was devised by the fantastic group at MetaFilter. Here the editors are a very smart mob of 25,000 users. One by one readers recommend the cool new stuff they find. Their filter is simply the emergent one of their collective discretion and taste; no one votes or ranks links. At the other end of the axis of collaborative filtering is the likes of Google and Yahoo News, which use the entire collaboration inherent in the web and many Googleish algorithms to programmatically generate a list of what's new based on who is linking stuff, the most "important" item at the top. No humans explicitly vote on the items.

These new uncategorized sites, which have emerged this year (and reviewed below), fall in between the positions above. They take the smart mob approach of MetaFilter and add the algorithms of search engines. So, readers themselves vote on the importance of linked items suggested by other readers; these votes are then subjected to a complex formula to produce rankings. The sites use various flavors of algorithms to balance and refine the votes and selection of smart mobs. Or they use the action of tagging or bookmarking a site as a type of vote. Each site uses a different algorithm, yielding slightly different mixes of links, and a different personality. The best sites maintain a balance between providing a sense of what everyone is reading (consensus popularity) and some novel items that not everyone is reading (yet)." (

Examples of Memediggers

Review by Pete Cashmore of Mashable, at

"Most Digg-like sites focus on finding the latest news, but the model is increasingly being applied to other media types. Some notable examples:

Digg - Arguably the first, certainly the most popular. Digg uncovers the latest tech news at a blistering speed, although some users have criticized it for being sensationalist or converging on the lowest common denominator. Digg recently added voting to the comments, too.

Reddit - Another popular destination for news. Reddit allows users to vote down as well as up, and tends to feature a broader set of stories. Nonetheless, Reddit still focuses on technology news.

ShoutWire - Very similar to Digg, but with a more stylish interface. So far it hasn’t achieved the same level of popularity as Digg and Reddit. Some users went so far as to label it a digg clone.

180° News - Memedigger for a broad range of topics. Includes the latest news on technology, sports, entertainment, business, world, society and health.

Boxxet - Although still in testing, Boxxet can be described as a series of vertical Diggs - set up your own memedigger around a topic and let others rank the items within it. A pretty interesting idea (see my Boxxet review for more).

VideoBomb - Video memedigger. VideoBomb finds the hottest videos from anywhere on the web. It’s fun to use, but it remains to be seen whether we need a “Digg for video" or if users will simply use the voting mechanisms built into “the Flickr of video" aka YouTube.

Newsvine - Combines a memedigger with the features of a mainstream news site. Users can vote and comment on Associated Press feeds, or submit links ("seeding the vine") and vote for them. Newsvine also allows you to write your own stories.

The “Digg Clones"

There are literally hundreds of near-identical memediggers springing up - most of them built on the open source Pligg software. Many have been criticized for failing to take the Digg idea forward, while others have applied the concept to interesting new topics. There are far too many to list here, but I’ll include a few that crossed my radar recently:

Staralicious - Memedigger for celebrity news.

StockDigg - Digg for stock trading.

iTunesLove - Memedigger for iTunes tracks.

Woomu - Another memedigger for videos. Woomu doesn’t display a thumbnail and you can’t play the videos directly on the site - VideoBomb is a lot more convincing.

Newsbump - An unabashed Digg clone. Pretty ugly, but it does have the advantage that you can view Australian, UK or US news." (