Publish2 Blog reports that social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, Reddit, and Del.icio.us, are mostly populated with niche stories and main stream articles are frequently overlooked. My reaction is a lack of surprise.
It is my understanding that many things occur on a regular basis. I would not save an article about a police officer arresting a person for drunk driving. This happens quite frequently and is really no interest to anyone. Chances are I would never need to reread this article or pass it on to anyone. Now, when I come across a story about Mel Gibson calling a police officer “sugar tits” and making anti-semitic remarks, maybe I’ll save that to show some of my friends later.
This seems to be the story of these social news aggregators. Someone finds a funny article and saves the link into their feed. Other people see the item and save it if they find it amusing. Regular stories, such as the president making a speech somewhere, aren’t really that interesting.
Another factor is the community that uses these web sites. The early adapters to social news sites tended to be more tech savvy than the rest of the population, thus skewing the popular content of the sites in general. At this very moment in time, the top three articles on del.icio.us are Edit your CSS Code with Vista, Tracking Down Your Stolen Macbook via IP address, and a page about Lotus notes. All of these links are computer related in one manner or another, showing who uses this new communication method the most.
I think once the general population starts using social news sites, the content will shift toward more mainstream news. Until then, we should all enjoy the wacky stories found by our Internet contemporaries.