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digg blog

Digg Labs Launches (alpha)

labs.digg.com - A broader, deeper view of Digg

Digg moves very quickly, and has a great many stories submitted every day, so good material can sometimes fly by before you even know it. By providing broader and deeper views of activity on the site, the tools and projects in Labs aim to help manage the stream of stories passing through Digg, and to better understand the patterns and trends generated by our fast-growing membership. These interactive visualizations look beneath the surface of the Digg community's activities. The projects currently in Digg Labs are the results of collaboration with Digg partner Stamen Design. As the project matures, we'll be releasing a public API to allow outside developers access to this data.

Two New Tools - Stack & Swarm!


Digg Stack shows diggs occuring in real time on up to 100 stories at once. As stories are dugg, they appear along the bottom of the screen, colored according to how popular they are. Users digging these stories appear as falling blocks that stack up as activity increases. The zoom level is adjustable, so you can focus in on the most recent stories, or pull back for a broader overview. You can also pause the visualization if it's flying by too quickly, or if you want to focus on a specific story more readily.

Clicking on an individual item pulls up more information on that story — who dugg it, how many comments it has, etc. — as well as providing a sparkline-style graph that shows a more detailed hour-by-hour display of activity on that story.


Digg Swarm is a more lyrical view of Digg. Stories come in as circles with the title inside of them, and diggers "swarm" around these stories when they digg them. Every time a story gets dugg, it increases in size — so the bigger the story, the more active it is. As people digg more stories, they move from circle to circle, and increase in size. You might see enormous diggers moving quickly from story to story; those seem to be people digging without taking the time to read stories...

Stories start off placed randomly on the screen, but as they get dugg, their positions change depending on who's digging them. Stories that are closer together are being dugg by the same users, and you can roll over stories to see these connections. The thicker the line, the more diggers in common that story has — which starts to suggest connections between stories over time. And selecting a story provides more detail about it.

Hope you enjoy, more to come soon.