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Pingdom has released a new report about traffic trends across a variety of social news sites. The sites included in the report are: Digg, StumbleUpon, Slashdot, Reddit, Mixx, Propeller, Newsvine, Fark, Dzone and Sphinn.
What the report shows is that while so many sites focus only on Digg, there are other players that are still worth working.
Here are the findings:
- Traffic-wise, Digg.com stands heads and shoulders above the other sites in this survey, but they seem to have reached a plateau. They have roughly the same number of visitors now compared to a year ago.
- Mixx.com has the most aggressive growth curve. Propeller.com (previously hosted on the Netscape.com domain) is also growing fast, doubling its traffic in the last year.
- Slashdot.org (the original) is losing visitors. They have roughly 25% less visitors now compared to a year ago.
- The five largest based on website visitors (sorted, largest first): Digg.com, StumbleUpon.com, Slashdot.org, Propeller.com and Fark.com. (Reddit.com is in 6th place, and is about to overtake Fark.)
The report uses Google Trends for the raw numbers. It’s clear the Digg traffic needle is stuck in neutral. Also, whatever happened to Newsvine? The service were acquired by MSNBC last October and haven’t been in the news since.
Social news aggregator Mixx is announcing the launch of their Facebook application today. First thing I noticed when installing the application, there was no "spam my friends" page. They’ve moved it to a right panel within the application which is smooth.
If you set your Facebook interests then Mixx will deliver relevant popular stories from Mixx into your profile. Actually from what I can tell, except for the lack of upcoming stories in the Facebook application, everything else is there — friends, groups, and even the ability to submit a link directly from Facebook.
The app does leave a few things to be desired including the ability to move the items around on the page. If I prefer stories, then images and no videos, there’s no option for that. This new app comes a month after Mixx released stats on their first 100 days in service.
Last night during the first Digg Townhall, we learned that there are an average of 10,000 stories submitted to Digg daily. I pulled out a scratchpad today and while my numbers might vary a bit from you home gamers, the data is very interesting indeed.
Based on the math in my original article about which categories hit Digg the most along with Richard MacManus’ post about which sites hit Digg the most in the tech category along with additional research outside of the tech category, here are my findings. Approximately 150 stories make Digg’s frontpage per day, not including stories that make it but are subsquently buried.
On an average weekday, you have a 150 in 10,000 chance that your submission will hit the frontpage. However we need to remove a piece of your chance because we know that some sites (in Tech for example: Gizmodo, Engadget, NYT, Techcrunch, Lifehacker, Ars Technica) will get more than one a day on average. Using the completed research and MacManus’ figures, I peg these special sites at 25% of the daily average which leaves the rest of us with the balance 112 out of 10,000 chance. I am being very conservative here with the power sites, the number is probably a bit higher.
When we pull out the HP 10B with these revised figures, your chance is now 1.12%; or in other words, a 98% chance you won’t make the Digg frontpage today.
If these percentages continue to get worse for the average site or average Digg user to see a benefit, will there be a slow exit out of the service? Why should a Digg’er push and push if the chances are slim to none that a story will make it? Would it make more sense to target Reddit or Mixx where there are more chances to get at least some bit of traffic?
My suggestion for Digg is to create separate verticals which would allow 150 stories in each category to hit the frontpage of that vertical each day. For example, I have no interest in Politics so why do I need to see it? I know that I can turn it off but it still counts into the stories that make the frontpage. These verticals (subdomains perhaps) could allow Digg to once again embrace the community and actually grow their userbase.
For all of the startups who bank on Digg for growth (you know who you are), this should be yet another wakeup call that no blog or social news site alone can make or break your product or service.
note: not all categories have the same weighting for frontpage status and power digg submitters can up your chance by a small percentage.
Social news newcomer Mixx has been in service for 100 days and has released some stats regarding their growth which I thought might be worth sharing. Personally I haven’t seen any traffic ’round these parts from Mixx but even with Digg today you won’t see diddly without hitting the frontpage. I believe that the key for success with Mixx lies 50% in the quality of the stories/community and 50% in the traffic it drives outward to the content creator’s Web site or blog.
- We’re now averaging hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month
- There are tens of thousands of registered Mixxers – 78% of whom have personalized their Mixx pages with more than 10 category tags
- Mixxers have created more than 700 groups, and counting
- So far, more than 5 million votes have been cast
- We now have a library of more than 50,000 tags submitted by Mixxers
Then they mention that a variety of large blogs and news sites have installed Mixx buttons. One of the sites they note is the LA Times. Of course they should be using Mixx considering that they have invested in the company last month!
Maybe we should take another stab at story submission and if so, we will report back with more traffic stats from the content creator’s perspective.