On the Digg website, there is a link to Newswire Beta on the top navigation bar. Clicking this will bring you to the Newswire, where news appears in real-time in an activity feed on the right side of the page. From here, you can see which users are Digging which content as it happens. Pretty cool. Once you have submitted a story to Digg, it will automatically be featured at the top of the Recent section of the Newswire. As the story is Dugg by other users, it will begin to move up the ranks in the Trending section.
The flip side of this is that in addition to seeing how articles perform after you have submitted them, you can filter the Newswire to suit your interests and discover cool articles. You can filter the News feed by topic, media (images, video or text) and the number of Diggs. For instance, you can choose to see stories about entertainment that have been Dugg more than 10 times (so that you know the story’s not a total dud) but less than 50 times, meaning that you can discover interesting content that might have been lost in the shuffle among more popular stories.
It will be interesting to see if the Digg Newswire can help the troubled company, as it faces serious competition from the likes of Reddit and StumbleUpon. Indeed, many Digg users stopped using the service after an ill-judged redesign and many started to use Reddit instead. Digg added several new features — including a story view counter — to its website back in February, but that did not seem to stem the tide of disappearing users. In March, Digg founder Kevin Rose left the company.
On first impression, this is an intriguing new feature that might help to engage users more often. However, taking a deeper look at the feature suggests that it can surface some fascinating content if you tweak the filters slightly. I’m certainly interested to see how the Newswire develops as it is an interesting idea with a lot of potential, but whether users who have left Digg are tempted to come back and try it out is a different story.