What is it?
Social news website features user-posted stories that are ranked based on popularity. Users can comment on these posts, and these comments may also be ranked. Social News can be thought of as a news service which is either based upon a topic (such as government and technology) or the overall news as a whole. Then users can either vote and/or comment on the article. Depending on the type of vote or comment, sometimes the article can be demoted down or deleted altogether.
What are some of the Social News Services?
The first website that featured Social News was back in 1997 called Slashdot. The website markets itself on being “News for Nerds”. These are articles posted by their readers and talked about in a forum format with a person moderating each article.
Later in 1997, there was another of this type but this one was for any news article called Fark. Here readers submit articles to the administrator and the administrator picks the articles for the site.
Digg decides to have the readers decide what’s shown or what gets dug under and eventually deleted. This is done by voting on the articles. It does give you a place to comment on them as well. Just be aware, that if the ranking on an article goes down, eventually the article will be deleted.
Reddit is similar with the voting aspect of Digg, but these are based upon rankings and don’t get deleted. This is great for those who only want the top number of news articles, but be aware that the less desired articles are still there as well.
Newsvine is much like Reddit and Digg but the topics there are centered on politics. If you like your political information and articles, then this is the place to be. However, it does rely on voting like Reddit and Digg but the articles are only on politics.
Each type of news service mentioned above, as its pros and cons. These pros and cons are based upon what the reader themselves wants out of the news service. A good example would be my view of news. I don’t care so much about politics unless it affects me or my family. Further, I think that all news items should be promoted, but why, if they don’t get enough votes, should they be deleted? We all have jobs and hobbies and if someone else’s views don’t completely match my own, why should their work be completely ignored by deletion? I consider that not reasonable for the person who has put in time and energy into writing the article up.
A further consideration should be taken as to if the site is easy enough to use and understand on how to use. I know I am very time limited on what I do and don’t do. I know I sometimes visit these pages; however, unless you read on how to make the pages reflect your views, people don’t understand they need to comment or vote on articles and what those comments or votes do. If someone doesn’t completely understand how these articles are influenced, then they might not get to see some articles that they actually want to read and may miss important information.
All cons above being said, it’s great to have articles that you want to read all in one spot. I know I’m still of the old school most of the time – I go to multiple websites to get information. Do I use Social News? Sometimes I do and other times I don’t – it depends on what I am doing and what information it requires.
How do I get started using Social News?
Social News is really easy to get started. I’ve mentioned some of the online services above, but mostly you just have to search for Social News to get many different services listed.
And there are many, many others out there… (edited to add – I have been asked to unlink some of these due to restrictions within WordPress, so please check out the many others link)
Then just choose one to read and away you go. Sometimes you do have to sign up with a login and password, so they can control who can and cannot comment and vote. This is a protection because of people having computers voting more than once or people who only want to cause trouble by positing unnecessary comments.
I have used Digg a bit and found it to be fun. However, it’s like many of the different types of Social Media – it can be addictive if you let it be. I know if I have a whole day free of nothing to do, which is very rare, and then I go onto Digg and get lost there for the day. I do it like this because, I get going on reading the site and lose track of time. If I set aside the whole day then I can search and read until my heart’s content without feeling guilty because other things are not being done.