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digg blog

Visualizing Digg Data

In our ongoing effort to analyze digging patterns, news trends, story
connections/relationships, friend suggestions (future feature), and
digging bots/fraud, we'd like to share with you the first visual
maps/movies of actual digging activity.

How to read the map:

* The horizontal axis is users arranged by numeric ID. Lower IDs are at the left and vertical gray lines separate user's IDs by increments of 10,000. It's possible to see that users from across the spectrum participate in digg activity. There is very little skew towards newer users, which we had not expected. The spacing of the horizontal gray lines shows that the most recent stories are getting the most attention, which is what you'd expect.

* There are a few vertical strings of digging, showing individuals who have dugg a series of stories during a single hour. Note: Solid unbroken white lines may represent bot activity. This activity is much more apparent in the movies below.

* The vertical axis represents items arranged by numeric ID. Lower IDs are at the top, and horizontal gray lines separate item IDs by increments of 10,000. The bright horizontal lines are items dugg by a lot of users.

* Dots are sized and colored according to the type of digg that occurred. Red dots are first-time diggs, and represent an item's first appearance in Digg. These are clustered towards the bottom, and there aren't very many of them. Not everyone is a first-time digger.

Fat dots are diggs that took place before an item hit the front page. These are also clustered towards the bottom. The remaining small dots are diggs of front-page stories. The vast majority of activity confirms and strengthens existing items.

Movies (Quicktime required):
6-09AM 04/01/06
6-12PM 03/01/06 (Note the hard white line - potential bot activity)

While this data will be primarily used for internal research, the results will find their way into upcoming user tools and next generation digg promotion and spam detection algorithms. We also plan on launching an API after the next major release of digg (v3). The API will provide users with access to digg DB data in which you can build your own digg tools/research projects around.

Digg on,