News aggregator Digg introduced a new feature called Newsrooms Tuesday, a section of the site that organizes news for specific topics, such as politics, business, science, and technology.
In this new system, incoming content will be directed into the Newswires of each individual Newsroom based on the topic. Then, Digg ranks these stories based on their popularity, how new they are, and how much of a signal they have, which is essentially the number of times a reader has shared the story through other social media. Registered Digg users can then vote stories up or down.
The most popular stories will be displayed on the front page of the Newsroom, but users that dig deeper to uncover interesting stories in the Newswire will be rewarded.
All your reading, Digging, and Burying activity is shown transparently in a real-time activity feed within each Newsroom, says a statement from the company. And we've built a way to measure and reward how influential that activity is for other users. We've created a series of badges to reward those who are the most active and influential in the Newsroom. So whether you are an Ace reporter (First story promoted to that Newsroom Front Page) or 'Trendsetter' (25 stories or more), you are making a difference in what people read.
The new reputation system is meant to discourage gaming the site, where promoters can take advantage of the site's algorithms to artificially drive traffic to sites. Preventative measures like badges, a required verified identity (like Facebook connect), and site transparency, such as allowing users to see the newsroom's top contributors, have all been taken.
At launch, and then over time, there are a number of things we'll do that will thwart nefarious gaming and let the real contributors have all the fun, says Digg CEO Matt Williams.
Despite all the new additions like Newsrooms, Digg is still sticking with its popular top news stream, which consists of daily content submitted and voted up organically by Digg users.
Digg's site revamp is welcome, as the aggregator has been losing users at a precipitous rate since last year's unpopular redesign. The site still has about 17 million monthly unique visitors, but has been losing much of its audience to rival news aggregator Reddit. Reddit already has subcategories for content, like Digg's Newsrooms, but these subchannels are not automatically curated.
If you look at music, who was popular last year, it was Rebecca Black, and that sucks. Not many people want to see that. Williams says. I think we've found an interesting way to separate out what's most meaningful from popular.
Newsrooms began rolling out in private beta at noon Pacific Tuesday.