Top 20 savvy living stories you missed this year

By Will Chen on 30 December 2006 4 comments

A look at the 20 stories in 2006 that touched my life in a positive, non-inappropriate kind of way.

Savvy Living Stories From Awesome People

Consumer Tips and Protection

Just Plain Cool

I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I have. If you feel cheated because you've actually read all these stories before, you should give me a call.   

Using Reddit for News

I found all the stories above through reddit, the best social bookmarking community around. I wanted to point that out because it seems that despite the increase of diversity in the blogosphere, a lot of the information is still being channeled through a select group of elite bloggers.

Nielsen BuzzMetrics recently reported that a "small cluster of power bloggers — focused on politics, blogging and humor -— were responsible for the top 100 blog posts for 2006." 

If Time magazine is right about the Internet being a "tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter," then shouldn't more individual blogs be involved too?

This is why reddit is so valuable and why I tell people about it every chance I get (case in point: now). The stories I listed above all made the front page of reddit. And none of them were produced by so-called uber blogs.

Many of the articles I posted are truly grassroots stories that are intensely personal and interesting — and if you weren't reading reddit, you might've missed them.

Reddit vs Digg

Digg is also a great news source but it has a tendency to bury some of the more unique stories. All of the stories on my list were submitted to both Digg and reddit. While all those stories made reddit's front page, many of them languished in Digg obscurity. For example:

digg example 2

Compare that with:

reddit submission example

I know this is a very unscientifically small sample, but this was one of the top human interest stories of the year. Leaving it off Digg's home page is like asking Michael Jordan to sit out a couple of All Star games. The $1 a day story did make a splash on Digg a bit later as a repost — 24 days later. Better late than never, I suppose.

I can't tell you why reddit succeeds where Digg has failed. But here's my personal thanks to the reddit team. Please keep that little alien up and running so I can continue to explore all the wonderful complexities of the human experience the blogosphere has to offer.

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Guest's picture
JC

The fact that a story gets 400 points on reddit and less than 30 on digg is so weird. How come the populations of reddit and digg are so different... we need some demographic stats here

Guest's picture

It would be interesting to see the demographics of reddit and digg users -- and what percentage of them vote for stories. I think reddit is much smaller, and therefore has more of a community that sees value in voting stories up/down. Digg on the other hand, has grown faster, and I think it was lost the community, but retains a clique that holds sway over what stories make it to the top.

My unscientific 2-cents anyway ...

BTW ... I did read a few of your stories this year, via reddit. Without reddit, I wouldn't have read them.

Guest's picture
Guest

Digg is for the children. Reddit is for teens. NewsTrust ( http://beta.newstrust.net/ ) is for adults. (At last, something for the adults.)

Will Chen's picture

Just out of curiosity, is it hard to get reviewers to answer so many questions?  This report is very interesting, I might give this service a try.

JC, that would be an interesting project.   I also wonder how much of the difference is the demographics and how much of it is the result of the user interface.

For example, the fact that reddit doesn't force you to pick a "category" might contribute to the diversity of the news posted.

Also, reddit doesn't have an intro paragraph, so the news posted has to be interesting and quirky based on the merit of the title alone, which might act as a filter against boring news.

Deen, I think the size of the community matters too.  Somehow reddit has retained that tight-knit feeling of trust and camaraderie that I don't get at any other social bookmarking websites.

Thanks for reading our stories and commenting on them.  By the way, your blog looks great.  I didn't know that imageshack can host dynamic slide shows like that.