Digg revamps profiles — introduces feeds, copies Facebook

digg-logo2.jpgDigg, the popular news-ranking site that is trying to extend its popular beyond its young geek-oriented audience, has significantly revamped its user profile section. The changes are aimed to give the service much more of a community feel, letting you share Digg stories with friends, and giving more profile to your most recent activity and favorite articles.

More significantly, the changes appear to be a direct response to Facebook, which has exploited its sharing features to tremendous success, and has also talked about using it to become a news site.

Digg’s new features are explained in this video.

Digg joins an increasing number of companies incorporating Facebook’s popular “feed” concept, where users can track the activities of their friends. This tends to create more activity on the site, because friends are likely to click on stories liked by their friends. This is particular important for Digg, which depends on its users to read and endorse stories, and so it’s a prudent, obvious move. On the one hand, it makes it easier for cliques of people to conspire to jointly endorse a story — something that has plagued Digg because marketers have a strong interest in pushing their own stories to the front page. On the other, it may generate more legitimate activity and thus help the community override that nefarious activity.

You can hit “share” and then “shout” to send a message to friends about articles you like. You can select favorites, that put your favorite articles on your profile. Your profile also shows the latest ten things you’ve done, comments you’ve made, shouts, and friends you’ve made. The profile has all sorts of information including age, name, picture, location, favorites sties, an about section, personal photos, and then your friends’ activities — just like Facebook. You can customize it all with filters.

Digg will notify you via email when certain activities happen, such as when someone adds you as a friend or a story you submit becomes popular. You can control what emails you want to receive in the email settings section of your user profile. You can find your friends’ profiles on Digg by searching for them by their email address. If you don’t want to enable others to search for your profile, you can specify that in privacy settings.

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