27 January 2006

Is Digg the New Slashdot?

Given that Digg just signed on with FM, I sure hope so!

But since I'm partisan on the topic, I refer you to Jason Kottke. His January 12 post, "Digg vs. Slashdot (or, traffic vs. influence)," provides an interesting case study on the difference between reach and importance. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's what I came away with:

--Alexa stats show Digg gaining on Slashdot in terms of reach (Alexa combines pageviews and unique visitors), but Slashdot still has nearly twice (1.8x) the reach of Digg

--Both sites have enormous power to move traffic around the web. When Digg posted a link to Kottke's site for 3 hours (between 11pm Saturday & 2am Sunday, not exactly prime time), they sent 20,000 people to Kottke. When Slashdot picked up the same link (Sunday afternoon) and posted it for 24 hours, it drove over 84,000 visitors to Kottke.

--Influence, ie, the ability to light the match on the forest-fire that spreads across the web, isn't the same thing as direct audience to one's site. "I'm pretty sure that the person who submitted this link to Slashdot got it from Digg or at least from a site that got it from Digg. Bottom line: if the iPod thing, which is several months old, hadn't been Dugg, it would not have appeared on Slashdot the next day."

Bottom line: Slashdot's still bigger, in conventional terms. But Digg -- in this example, anyway -- reaches more people.


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