RealTime IT News

Digg Widens Coverage Net

Digg, the power-to-the-people Web site that allows Web trolls to decide which stories get top billing, is moving beyond its technology news roots to provide wider coverage, and adding some new features to make it easier to keep up with the incoming news.

The public beta of the new look and new features goes live today. In addition to the Technology story section, four new categories are being added, each with several segments.

They are: World & Business (Business & Finance, Politics, World News, Offbeat News); Entertainment (Celebrity, Movies, Music, Television), Videos (Animation, Comedy, Educational, Music, People, Gaming); Science (Space, Environment, Health, General Sciences); and Gaming (Gaming News, Playable Web Games).

The categories will be organized in the global navigation bar on the left side of the site. If you don't care about a particular section, you can remove the container, save your settings and never see it again.

The top page of Digg only shows 25 stories at a time, and hundreds come in per day, according to Kevin Rose, co-founder and chief architect of Digg. Also new in version 3.0 is visualization technology that allows visitors to zoom out and get a better look at what's coming in.

This will make it easier to keep track of what's coming in without having to constantly stay on top of things. Another way to track incoming articles is Digg Spy, but stories scroll off within a minute of being Dugg.

"Right now in the technology section alone we get between 400 and 2,000 stories a day. No single user could pick through them all. If you walk away you miss things," said Rose.

Digg Incoming will replace Digg Spy as the means for monitoring what's being "dugg." The Visualization feature shows each story as a bar in a bar graph, and several hundred bars can be shown on the screen at once. The new Swarm technology shows which stories users are "swarming" around as they become more popular.

The new Dashboard in Digg 3.0 will also allow individuals to keep better track of what their friends are doing, like reading or submitting stories. A new custom view filter will alert Digg users when two or more of their friends Digg the same story, since there is a high chance of common interest, said Rose.

The Incoming features have been built on an internal API that Digg plans to release under a Creative Commons license, so other sites can add similar features, said Rose.