Inc.com labelled Kevin Rose as the most famous man on the internet. Just the mention of his name would probably make his fans, most of whom are men, follow him around like a horde of zombies and salivate profusely while waiting for him to say something juicy. Like what the next iPod will look like, for example. His creations have ridden on his fame and took off to stardom as well. Digg and Diggnation are both large household names on the internet.
If you have just come out from hibernation and have no idea what Digg means, allow me to shed some light. Digg is a website created by Kevin Rose which allows users to submit news and links of interests; and promotion of those submissions by voting or “digging”. If a link is heavily “dugg”, it will end up on the front page of Digg and thus, brought to fame.
Any story on the front page of Digg will carry a huge influx of visitors to the submitted links, slowing the website down to a crawl or decapitating it altogether – what we now know as the “Digg effect”. MakeUseOf is a common victim of said effect and we’re proud of it.
The front page of Digg is traversed by many links in a very short period of time. So, it’s very difficult to keep up with every little bit of news that comes through – unless you have the right tools under your belt. I recently found one excellent Digg tool – and it’s a keeper.
DiggUpdater is a tiny menu bar application which scans the front page of Digg and sends those submissions right to my desktop, making it a million times easier than browsing through the website for anything that could catch my eye.
When I first start this application up, it asks me for the kind of style I’d like my updates to be presented in: a Classic Digg window, a Slim Digg window, using Growl, or without any windows. I chose the Slim window since reading the titles of the submission is enough to tell me if I’m interested in it. Plus, I wouldn’t want the limited screen-estate of my 13″ MacBook to be hogged by Digg notification windows.
After choosing my notification style, the application launches properly and the 5 most recent front page stories are sent to my desktop. Wicked. Clicking on any one of them will lead my browser to the corresponding page on Digg.
Many users will stop here saying “Oi, this means I can’t digg a submission right from my desktop? This application is rubbish”. Hold your horses with the dissing. How do you know which links from Digg are worth digging unless you view them first? Do I make any sense?
Carrying on, DiggUpdate is pretty configurable. You can choose how many stories you’d like to display each time it refreshes, the refresh interval (I’d suggest a longer interval because the stories on Digg take a while to rotate, so searching for new stories every minute is a waste of time), you can even enter your Digg username to retrieve stories which were dugg by your friends. If you’d like to monitor only certain categories from Digg, you can select the ones you want from the story categories drop-down list. It gives you the option to choose a whole category group (e.g. Technology) or specific categories (e.g. Apple news).
When I first ran DiggUpdate, I constantly checked Digg and wondered why some stories have yet to reach my desktop. I was pretty irritated with it and started tweaking the refresh interval. Indeed, I realised that the stories will eventually come to my desktop. That’s when I learnt that I had to set the refresh interval slightly higher to get the best out of this application. Currently, I get a few new stories for me to sift through every now and then.
The Digg icon on the menu bar is pretty awesome. The “board-like thingy” beside the man figure turns yellow indicating that there are new stories which I haven’t taken a look at.
Like I said before, DiggUpdate is a keeper. It’s available for free on both Mac and Windows. Give it a go and let me know what you think of it, especially the Windows version. I have no idea how the Digg notification windows look like on XP, so please let me know in the comments.
If you’re an avid Digg submitter, check out Mark’s article about monitoring your own submissions.