Thoof Takes a Shot at Digg, Touts Personalization

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I came across an interesting video today (ironically, courtesy of Digg) that makes fun of content on Digg and then boasts the superiority of Thoof, a Digg competitor, and it’s personalization engine. While this may seem like a good short-term strategy, this is likely to bite Thoof in the back.

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The point that the video is trying to make is that the content on Digg isn’t always of the best quality and may not be the most relevant content based on your interests. While this is a legitimate concern at the moment, there are several things to consider.
1. Digg’s upcoming engine – Digg has already announced that they will be launching a personalized recommendation engine soon. The system will look at your past digging and burying histories along with those of your friends, to try and recommend more targeted content to you. Once this is released, we’ll probably be seeing someone go poof!
2. Thoof isn’t much better – What the video doesn’t point out is that unless you register for the site and actively train the recommendation engine, the quality on Thoof is just as (what the consider to be) bad as on Digg. Here’s a snapshot of the content promoted on Thoof:
While the personalized recommendation engine is good, the implication in the video is far from accurate. The video would have you believe that the Thoof community is the epitome of sophistication and the Digg community is composed of imbeciles. A look at the showcased content on the sites shows that they are not very different at all.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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  • Aditya Kumar Singh

    Something known as “Shameless Self Promotion” MWAHAHAHAH
    Nice Post 😉

  • Travis Vocino

    “…the Digg community is composed of imbeciles…”
    While that’s pretty much true, it’s not because Digg is somehow lower class. It is simply because most everything is eventually overrun by imbeciles. That’s the nature of the social web. The only reason Thoof might be less like that is because it’s still an underdog group of core users that support it.
    Once the masses get involved, it will not doubt go down a few clicks in sophistication, just like all of them.
    The key is creating a group infrastructure to minimize the required participation with the majority of idiots in any given social network. I think Digg’s new profile system is taking these steps for this very reason.

  • RBA

    “…the Digg community is composed of imbeciles…”
    You know, Travis? Whether you agree or disagree with that, I don’t think that’s the point. Launching a campaign where you label the community of your competitor as stupid, may or may not work but it walks on the thin line between being aggressive and unethical or offensive.
    Take the Nokia vs Apple example that was mentioned in this blog a few days ago. Nokia may launch a campaign targeting Apple because they want you to know/think that Nokia phones are better (open), but if you launch a campaign where you’re implying that iPhone users are idiots for using it and if you buy one, you must also be an idiot, then that’s crossing the line.
    In other words, it may be okay to “attack” a competitor’s product or service or even tactics, but you should leave the community/consumer alone IMHO.
    A call for attention? Probably yes. Best way to do it? Not in my book (YMMV).