After very careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that my current understanding of Digg and Reddit can be expressed in the form of an SAT analogy and terms of a pair of "community" sites from the previous generation.

Digg is to Slashdot, as Reddit is to Kuro5hin

Yeah, I kinda gave it away in the title of this post, didn't I?

Oh, well.

Now, I suppose you want evidence for this odd claim.

Unfortunately, a lot of it boils down to qualitative things: the "feel" of each site and the type of content that surfaces there most often. Slashdot and Digg are tech heavy, while Kuro5hin and Reddit seem to cast a wider net that captures more of science and culture (and occasionally some politics).

Slashdot and Digg both drive a lot of traffic and experience a lot of churn, while Kuro5hin and Reddit are a bit more stable and have smaller (but by no means "small") audiences.

See also: Because You Asked which takes a cursory look at one site's experience appearing on both.

Thoughts? What other similarities do you see, assuming you've been a user of or participant in each of them for a non-trivial amount of time?

Posted by jzawodn at March 29, 2006 08:50 PM

Reader Comments
# Ray said:

Interesting. I was thinking earlier today about what I like about Reddit and I don't agree with you. Not necessarily that I disagree with your metaphor, I just don't agree with your description of Reddit. I suspect it is because we define "tech" differently.

I prefer Reddit is for technical information. They don't necessarily have the most breadth, but I find all sorts of interesting mathematical and programming ideas at Reddit. If you are interested in Lisp, functional programming, or the mathematics of algorithms, Reddit is the place to keep up with what is going on. They also pull up a fair number of older articles that I haven't seen.

Maybe Digg has better coverage of Web 2.0 or what Google and Yahoo are up to this week, but that isn't the aspects of "tech" that I care about.

Reddit has more worthwhile technical info for me.

Reading Reddit is like hanging around with bright computer science graduate students and learning what they are reading.

on March 29, 2006 11:12 PM
# Michael Slater said:

Reddit is not on my RSS feed list because it doesn't include any useful text, just a title. Even slashdot eventually came around and got a decent RSS feed going.

Cryptome does the same frustrating thing, but their content is so unique that I tolerate it.

on March 30, 2006 04:35 AM
# Roy said:

Interesting; the general consensus among my technical friends is that reddit technical articles are a bit deeper than the ones on digg.

on March 30, 2006 08:51 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

By "tech heavy" maybe I should have said "more focused in moment to moment tech memes" or something.

I don't know. It's a bit hard to describe.

on March 30, 2006 09:05 AM
# jjjj said:

Digg is to MTV as Slashdot is to VH1, Slashdot is slower and more thoughtful, but Digg gets more stories churned.

I read both, but I comment on Slashdot because I get time to think about it, and I only read one or two Digg's if the story catches my eye on the RSS, because so many stories are unimportant.

on March 30, 2006 11:41 AM
# said:

Okay - since no one else did it - You have been Digg-ed

Lets see if it makes the front page - Digg Readers love tension comparisons

on March 30, 2006 03:07 PM
# Roy said:

Didn't get the time to respond fully earlier:

Given the fact that digg allows a limitless number of pages to hit front page, I think there's definitely a broader audience than the ones on reddit (which can only display 25 at a time on the front page and subreddits). Given the broader audience, I definitely agree that Digg tends to have shallower content, which is probably why it gets caught up with memes a lot more.

I've been tracking for a while now, and find it much more informative than anything that hits digg or /. I can barely keep up with digg or /. lately though ... too much noise!

on March 30, 2006 03:30 PM
# Frank Mash said:

Another one of your original post. I still prefer Slashdot over Digg.

on March 31, 2006 09:24 PM
# ChessMess said:

How would one classify new sites that use the Digg metaphor but are very narrow in focus. Example being ?

on April 3, 2006 04:22 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

From your FAQ:

"2. Are you guys copying

Yes. We choose to mimic the functionality of because we wanted to put the power of news reporting in the hands of the users, and the method of doing this is a proven succesful method of doing just that. To understand why we want this user empowered setup then you need to understand why we created this site to begin with."

At least you're honest!

on April 3, 2006 07:19 AM
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