Li Evans at Search Marketing Gurus caught Digg on the slow side today. She was looking for updates on the shooting at Virginia Techâ€”but the story was nowhere to be found on Digg’s front page. (It didn’t “become popular” for another two hours after she checked.)
And who did have it when Li checked? Newsvine. Hm!
Aside from the interesting dig at Digg, which Diggers seem to consider the fastest way of transmitting news since the neighborhood grapevine, the irony of the situation struck me as it never has before. These and other “social news” sites aren’t making the news, or controlling it, or even covering it. They’re just voting and commenting on it.
The same story has been on major mainstream media front pages since this morning. If you want real news, go to real news sitesâ€”and don’t wait for the real stories to finally reach “popular status” before reading them. A certain number of votes from a certain number of places over a certain period of time doesn’t actually make a news item important, relevant or timely.
Digg is good for news of the weird, but for news of the world, I’d recommend sticking to the sites that are breaking the news themselves.