Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Concerning a Digg-style site for political news

The incredibly popular LGF site, operated by Charles Johnson, has suffered a series of attacks on the popular Digg site. A certain band of --er-- left wing zealots has censored nearly all LGF stories from appearing on Digg's front-page. They do so by marking each and every story -- no matter how newsworthy -- as spam (such as this, this, and this).

The problem, at least as I see it, is the single dimension offered by the "Digg It" button. Stories either get affirmative votes or -- if they receive enough 'buries' -- disappear altogether. The flat nature of the voting system doesn't lend itself to stories that can be construed as "political." Unfortunately for Digg, nearly every story in the general "World & Business" category has some sort of perceived bias.

A proposed alternative to a Digg button for political websites

There is an alternative voting approach. I propose a four-pronged voting system in a new site I call --uhmm-- "Dougg." Stories collect votes in any one of four categories:

* Center: a story written with little or no political bias
* Right: a story written with a conservative or right-wing bias
* Left: a story written with a liberal, progressive or left-wing bias
* Spam: a story that should be buried, irrespective of reason

Of course, users are free to simply not vote at all. But stories that do collect a lot of votes could be expected to exhibit certain characteristics. The LGF stories that are routinely buried on Digg, for instance, might look like this:

800 right votes, 200 spam votes, 100 center votes

This story might graduate to the front-page as a "right" story. Another example: consider a glowing bio piece on Jimmy Carter. The vote totals might resemble this pattern:

800 left votes, 200 spam votes, 100 center votes

And, yep, this story might jump to the front-page as a "left" story.

An 'unfiltered' front-page, showing stories of all political persuasions

A user's settings could automatically "filter" front-page stories. A member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy™ might choose to see only the "right" and "center" stories. A Kos Kid might choose to see only "left" and "center" stories.

As for real spam? Those stories would probably exhibit universal scorn -- say 100 center votes and 1200 spam votes.

Oh, and yes, anyone can borrow this idea as long as they cut me in for a couple points of the gross. Remember, I'm a compassionate conservative.

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