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Digg as a Platform

posted Oct 24, 2011, 2:45 AM by Jack Marrows   [ updated Nov 4, 2011, 7:04 PM ]
Digg is a web application which promotes popular web content based on user ratings. Recently the CEO of Digg announced that the company was now EBITDA profitable which is a significant step in the organisations’s history (Sykes, 2010).

To be competitive on the real time web, Perez noted (2010) that Digg needs to increase traffic to their site. Currently, it may take a few days for a link to reach Digg’s homepage where Twitter could spread the link in a matter of hours. Large scale uptake of Digg’s API will encourage such traffic.

Digg's API

The Digg Application Programming Interface (API) has been created to let developers and partners interact with Digg's platform. Digg’s API allows developers to integrate its core functionality and data into their own application or a website. Functionality includes digging activity, rating and commenting on links (Digg, 2010).

Developers extend the functionality of Digg through creating mashups. These are often add ons or third party applications that interact with other APIs to offer new functions. Digg supplies a wizard to offer less experienced web developers, the script they require to incorporate Digg content and functionality into their own site, further increasing traffic (See picture below). 


Developers can use the API to request very specific information about news stories, images and videos submitted to Digg (Digg, 2010). Applications request this information using REST and may use multiple response formats including XML and Javascript (full list).

Developer Support

Digg support their developers through offering Digglite (an open source platform to be modified or built on), extensive documentation about the API and an online community for discussion and support.

Terms of Service

Digg’s API is provided “as is” (Digg, 2010). Consequently, Digg isn’t legally required to support any failures however, if they didn’t offer support I suggest people would stop developing with the API. Furthermore, the TOS Implies developers can pay for Digg API support.

Conclusion

Digg provides developers with a strong platform and through assembly in innovation has seen massive scalable growth. The company makes money through offering advertising in a format that looks like Digg content (Gannes, 2010) and with increased traffic can continue to compete with social media sites and be profitable. Traffic can be secured through continued, stable management of the Digg API. Like all web 2.0 applications the more people who use it the better it gets.

Question for Thought

With so many mashups and third party applications being developed, will Digg still need a homepage in 10 years?

References

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