Google Launches Digg Style Social Voting Service : What’s Popular

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If you can’t beat them (or don’t feel like putting out the cash to acquire them), then join them! Google has implemented a new Digg style social voting platform in iGoogle which could be a glimpse of an overall Google run Digg style content sharing network, and may signal that Google might not have any interest in acquiring Digg.

Google has launched their new iGoogle gadget, “What’s Popular” which has only been installed by 2,889 users thus far. Google’s “What’s Popular” lets users “pop” stories which they find interesting in Google News and beyond. The iGoogle Widget lets users read and vote on “All Popular” as according to Google, My Pops – which are stories that have been voted on by the users and “My Adds” – stories added by the user.

Google also offers a canvased version of the tool, with its standalone page, here : Google What’s Popular?

At first glance it looks like What’s Popular is using a mix of personal relevancy, voted “Pops”, and timely posts to serve up the default listings on its What’s Popular? page.

Here is an explanation from Google :

How we find interesting stuff
What’s Popular uses algorithms to find interesting content from a combination of your submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services, like YouTube and Google Reader.

You can rate items that you like or dislike by clicking the ratings buttons next to each item. If you change your mind, you can change your rating at anytime. The What’s Popular gadget looks at what users liked or disliked to improve its ranking of interesting items.

Users can filter the stories based on date, popularity and relevance and in addition to stories, videos and images can be added. Without much of a social aspect, calling “What’s Popular” a Digg competitor could be a stretch, but the voting and bookmarking is made easy and very Digg -like by the iGoogle gadget.

With Google slowly rolling into social, via OpenSocial, Friend Connect and of course GTalk; something could be added soon if this gadget takes off. Perhaps though, the social aspect is already part of the algorithm, as Google generally has an idea of the verticals or information its users enjoy, and which other “friends” visit the same webpages and fall within similar profiles.

I especially like the usage of the usage of “What’s Popular” as a planner for daily reading, as stories and media could be submitted or “popped” in the morning, and then be read on the iPhone or mobile device during a daily commute.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Harsh Agrawal

    I’m still trying to figure out this tool. There is a long way to go for this software to pop.

  • Anu Patel

    Didn’t Google almost buy Digg but at the last minute sited a personality conflict with Digg’s operating staff and bailed out from the deal?

  • Anu Patel

    Found the link from last July…

  • Gerald Weber

    I’m going to check this out. I don’t see why the heck Google would want to buy Digg. Especially with their latest DiggBar move. I like Digg, but personally I think they are on the way out of the game.

    • Honey Singh

      Yeah, i don’t like the trading games of the Digg !
      It lacks the creative and good contents at the top !

  • socialnerdia

    Digg on the way out??? Based on what? I don’t even know if you’re talking about the same digg..

  • website optimisation

    I would say that at present there are so many bookmarking tools and services and you need to set up a separarte toolbar for each of them. this is not reasonable so I may presume google will have to invent something so that people begin installing it.

  • Website Copywriting service

    I wouldn’t get too excited about Google’s foray into replicating/’improving upon’ existing social -related services pioneered by other sites. These projects are undertaken with great fanfare then they fall by the wayside. Anyone remember KNOL? How about Google’s acquisition of Jaiku–a twitteresque service? There’s quite a few other examples.

    The fact of the matter is that (Myspace notwithstanding), much of the social media/networking space moves on the principle of “First Mover advantage.” The first site to pioneer a certain feature gets the mindshare and usage. Call it a Web 1.0 mental hangover if you wish but it’s the reality.

    Should Google acquire these pioneering sites instead? Google’s got the fat wallet to do so but there’s one caveat: In addition to “don’t be evil”, Google’s acquisitions department should also look into that other important maxim “don’t be Yahoo”.

    Yes, Yahoo. Remember them? That Web 1.0 behemoth, bloated by crazy Dot Bust valuations and investor frenzy, bought tons of dot com companies based on features and traffic. It managed to squander its advantages by sitting on the properties and not letting them grow/evolve to Yahoo’s full advantage. aka Overture is one such tragedy. Geocities and are two others.

    If Google intends to aggressively build on its acquisitions and seamlessly integrate them into a tight Borg-like revenue/content model then it should go on a buying spree. If not… avoid the Yahoo experience.

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Visiting the site it is not all that appealing to look at either. It will be a while before this is the next best thing to be using.

  • Agam Panwar

    after checking it personally… I would add that they have to add something more before people start assuming that Google have captured this sub domain also…

  • Logo Designer

    I think its a good service… anyways for those who are interested in digg style sites, here is another digg style site…


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  • Amar

    Again an article about Google and digg, LOL ANyways Good article but i wonder why would google copy digg.. HUH?

  • Tanveer

    @Amar: Because Google don’t have any such sites like social bookmarking sites, and Digg is now no 1 social bookmarking site, so Google is trying to be no 1 site in social bookmarking also…