There are so many social media applications now it is difficult to decide which ones are the right one’s for you. As part of the Community Reporter’s course we spent some time researching alternative sites to Facebook and Twitter to see which would be suitable for South Leeds Life.
I decided to look at a fairly new Social Media site – Digg. The site was originally set up about 8 years ago but last year they took 6 weeks out and completely rebuilt and re-launched the programme. The result is an ever growing site that publishes and promotes news articles from around the globe.
One of the more positive aspects of the site is its ease of use. There’s no messing about with filling out registration pages; you can simply use your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Then you have several choices of checking the top news stories of the day, the most popular or the newly listed ones. There is also the facility to search for an article dependent on your interests.
Clicking on the headline it will take you straight to the newspaper or magazine that published the article for you to read in full. It’s then possible to save for later or share on other social media platforms. Like the Facebook method of liking a page you can “dig” an article. Shares and digs are what are used to decide which articles are the most popular.
A couple of downsides; despite being able to receive news by email or mobile phone app, it’s an iPhone only app. No good for those of us who can’t afford an iPhone. You also can’t leave any comments although this is something they are looking to change in the near future.
Using the search option I tried to see what sort of news I could get for South Leeds. It was easy to find global news articles, sport is very popular as are news items coming from London. However it’s difficult to find anything on a more local level. Typing in South Leeds I found an article of the attack on a Sheffield Wednesday player at Leeds United, but that was it. I tried Beeston with no joy; instead I was recommended to look at news articles for cyber warfare! And Middleton just gave me hundreds of stories of Kate. The search engine also doesn’t recognise the names of newspapers.
So all in all it’s a website equal to Wikipedia in terms of spending hours lost in information that you will never need. However for a local news site it will not help increase popularity. And you do have to wonder if people in Brazil, for example, would be interested in what happens in our small corner of the world.
I think however there is scope to add features such as search by newspaper or magazine and do more to bring the big wide world even closer to home. Maybe that could be a whole new website. Anyone good at building websites????
This article was written by Kirsty White using our Community Reporters website