I wonder why diggers are just list crazy?
At the time of writing this post (yesterday), here are the 'lists' from the top 100 diggs on the digg front page -- almost 16 of them! What this means is that on every page there is at least one 'list' type of an item. (And I have noticed this trend for some time now)
Lists can be entertaining and fun. But I wonder why we see lists enjoying such high popularity in digg? From a cursory glance, the comment activity on 'lists' is comparable to any other item. So my guess was simply that the 'Top Diggers' have a greater inclination towards lists.
[UPDATE 08/22/2008, 12:10 AM]
To understand what was going on here, I turned to the expert, Dr. Kristina Lerman, who has extensively studied the Digg Community. Following is an excerpt from her response to my question about the popularity of lists on Digg:
"......did you notice how the amount of communicated information is shrinking? First we had Twitter, that advertised 128 chars or less in a message. Rather than being an inconvenience, other services followed the trend: "videos in 5s or less", or other bite-sized chunks of information. Lists are part of that trend, but not only do they communicate information in a convenient bite-sized chunk, but they also rank them - another passion of the current age. It seems that people are really averse to expressing thoughts in long paragraphs." [Text highlighted by me]
Digg is essentially a news site, but the audience probably loves the quick, bite-size and neatly ranked information that such posts provide. Even on traditional news reports and TV shows the "top 10" whatever-odd-ball-potpourri land up being a part of the reporting.
Kristina Lerman (2007), User Participation in Social Media: Digg Study , in Proceedings of the International Workshop on Social Media Analysis (SMA07), Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology [pdf] [bibtex]
Kristina Lerman (2007), Social Networks and Social Information Filtering on Digg, in Proceedings of Int. Conf. on Weblogs and Social Media, Boulder, CO,USA (poster). Extended version available on arXiv (cs.HC/0612046)
Thanks Kristina for your sharing your thoughts on this new trend!