23 Things on a Stick – Thing 12

You’ve probably noticed that we’re burning through the Things this week for 23 Things on a Stick. That’s because the organized part of the program is running through mid-April and we’re trying to meet the deadline in finishing all of the Things. By mid-April, we’ll be heading into school tour season and won’t have time to investigage any more Things.

So, we’re on Thing 12, which had us looking at social media sites like Digg, Reddit, Mixx, Newsvine, and Stumbleupon. These sites allow people to post news stories that they’ve found on the web that they think deserve more attention. I have had experience with Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon outside of work, having established accounts with both Digg and Reddit and read some of the postings on Stumbleupon. Through this Thing, I took a look at Mixx and Newsvine, but didn’t care for the layout as well as that of Digg and Reddit.

On Digg and Reddit, those who have an account have the opportunity to vote for whether they liked a story or not. Stories that get the most positive votes stay at the top of the list longer. Stories that don’t get votes or get negative votes disappear from the front page quickly. This is one problem with these social media sites. If there was a story you liked one day, but forgot to bookmark, it can be difficult to find it through the sites, even though you can try with the search feature.

Another problem is voting fraud. I’ve heard that there are people who are paid to vote up stories so that they stay on the front page longer. While I am not sure of the validity of this claim, as soon as I discovered that people could misuse Digg and Reddit, I stopped posting stories to them. I figured, why bother contributing to a rigged system?

One thing I can tell you about Reddit is that you can read the headlines on its Hot and New pages (25 stories posted to each page) and get pretty much all the major national news that will be reported in a day. Many of the stories are from reputable news sources, so you can click through and read the whole story and have no worries about its reliability.

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