Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

The Speed of Social News Sites

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"Less than 10 minutes after the news of Donald Rumsfeld's resignation hit the wires last week, the information was visible to hundreds of thousands of people via the homepage of Digg.com, a social news aggregation site that relies on readers to submit and promote interesting news stories.

According to Digg founder Kevin Rose, the Rumsfeld news was submitted to Digg three minutes after the Associated Press released it; four minutes later, the story had acquired enough "diggs" to jump to the front page of the site. The speed at which the Rumsfeld news--a quick read at only two sentences--was promoted to the front page of Digg "broke a record," said Rose last week at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

But the incident is more than a milestone for the social news site: it underscores the power that legions of citizen editors have to determine the importance and timeliness of news. By comparison, Rose said, Google News, a site that uses algorithms to find and establish the importance of news (based on the reputation of news sources), took about 25 minutes to pick up the story."

Kate Greene
MIT Technology Review

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