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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Digg vs. Slashdot

For a long while I was a Digg reader (or rather, subscriber to their RSS feed). However recently I've deleted Digg from Bloglines and added Slashdot to replace it. Why?

The comments. For reasons I don't know, Digg tends to have very short comments, with little in them. Their javascript-heavy comments system takes a long time to render, even using Opera with its class-leading javascript engine. And if you set the comments to only show, say, +5 comments to cut out the dross, you still get a long list of titles of <5 point comments to scroll through. Finally, there seems to be a bug in their system so that, even as a logged-in user, it keeps forgetting what comment threshold I've set.

Slashdot is a breath of fresh air. After joining, I've set the comments to display in flat mode (easy to read), oldest first, with a threshold of 4 (out of a possible 5). This gives me a ready source of informed and intelligent reaction to the original story. I don't need to go searching through blogs, usually every side is well-covered on Slashdot already!

Slashdot comments also tend to be much longer and much more in-depth than the brief throw-away shots Digg seems to engender. Digg also has more visitors, and I think as a consequence has more "junk" comments (every story seems to start with a lame comment dug to -100 followed by several "that's so lame" posts dugg to 20...).

Slashdot has a tradition of more informed commentary and with a flat (or even shrinking) userbase, that tradition looks set to stay.

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