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What are the factors driving Digg submissions

I was intrigued by a post on Read/Write Web (based on a post by Center Networks) where they implied that they were being slighted by Digg. I immediately wondered: Isn’t that just a function of where the news is?  So I went and looked at the posts from today on a bunch of the blogs he cites. I also looked up the traffic data in comScore. Check it out:

Jan 08 comScore Uniques Feb 19 post volume Frontpage Diggs in last 30 days
Gizmodo 1688 57 84
TechCrunch 556 10 12
Mashable 543 23 4
ARSTechnica 436 12 87
ReadWrite Web 51 6 6

So here were the components of my theory:

  • I figured traffic probably correlates to Diggs. If no one reads it, it never gets dugg.
  • I figured post volume maybe correlates. The more posts, the more chances there are to get dugg. (this is some proxy for the volume of news getting broken on a site)
  • There is probably some “rapidity of posts” metric that I didn’t look at.

What does the data tell us:

  • Gizmodo gets a lot of Diggs because it breaks a ton of news and is read by everybody. Gizmodo should get a lot of frontpage Diggs.
  • Originally, I had just looked at ARSTechnica and RWW (as those had been the two called out in the RWW post) and seeing that made me think “surely the numbers are out of whack, but not super out of whack.” ARSTechnica gets 8x the traffic and posts 2x as frequently. That kind of lines up!
  • Unfortunately, Mashable and TechCrunch both have more traffic and similar post frequency (Mashable much higher) and get far fewer posts. Mashable appears to be the site most getting the short end of the Digg stick.
  • Centernetworks didn’t show up in comScore. That will definitely imply limited traffic so limited Diggs.

So, maybe there is something here. But also consider this: Is RWW where I go to get my breaking news? Not really. TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and ARSTechnica are the kind of sites where I might expect to get that stuff. I look to RWW for more indepth analysis of trends. Maybe that is just me. I complained in an earlier post about the rising frequency of RWW posts.

I wonder if this is the kind of thing that will win me the comment contest! Go me.

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