I have never been happy with the concept of Hot News/Breaking News, where a single Digg staff picks a story and it stays on the front page for ever and almost always making the top news. However, most times – I do not see these picks entering “Top News in All Topics” as majority of community seldom finds those stories super interesting.
Totally faulty and baseless selections to the staff picks have become very common. Several times, I see news already in top news being staff picked. I wanted to paste a few links like that, where I had commented, however my comment history does not show those comments linked to the stories (Yes, I am surprised that those comments went missing).
Today morning, this story entered staff picks: http://digg.com/news/technology/chengdu_j_20_china_used_downed_us_fighter_to_develop_first_stealth_jet . As commented there by bossm4n, the very same story has already been in staff pick and did not get popular (for whatever reason). Now that a new submission from dailymail is available, again it enters staff picks. Seriously, how tough is it to keep an internal log of what stories have been on “Staff Picks” to enforce non-duplication of stories?
Leaving this particular example aside, my observation of the protocol on the Staff Picks is:
• Look for links from partners and make sure big partners are given preference
• Just so that people do not complain, occasionally (once or twice a day) – links from non-partners (example, YouTube) are picked, but from preferred submitters (Don’t ask me for definition of preferred submitters, but if you follow the pattern, you will know what I am talking about)
There is absolutely no search to see for stories in the same topic already active in the community and they don’t give any sh$t if there is one such story. One staff member liked this site or submitter – is the complete rationale, for the community driven site.
And here is an example right now live on the front page:
See that that second story on the top news and the third story on the Staff Pick are the same.
Doing big changes, introducing new features etc is a different thing, but following proper protocols and paying attention to these details does not really take anything extra, but for the willingness from Digg staff.
Update/Edit: I just read this post by JD.Rucker (oboy) in essence, what I am telling is just no different from what he already said. http://socialnewswatch.com/where-digg-continues-to-lose-its-way-trying-to-impress-mainstream-media-that-doesnt-give-a-h17/