Friday, April 20, 2007

What American Idol has in common with

Originally, I planned to wrote a new post on Wedensday, but I was distracted by the American Idol. When I found out Sanjaya was in the bottom three, I immediately got in front of my TV. When Ryan Seacrest announced that Sanjaya will be sending home, I was a bit shocked. Sanjaya is one of the weekest singer in the competition, but after watching him beating out other more talented contestants week after week, I thought he will stay for at least another week, but I was wrong.

American Idol is a singing competition where it let voters to select the best singer. is a user driven social content website that let members to digg the articles they like. Although they have very differnt goals, I found out that there are a lot of similarities between them:

Similarity #1: Popularity contest
On the surface, American Idol is a singing contest, but in reality, it is a popularity contest. Sanjaya is not the first contestant who makes it to top 10 but widely regarded as one of the weakest singer. has a front page that shows the most digged news, but you will never confuse digg's front page with New York Times or Washington Posts. Usually, the article that get to digg's front page are unusal photos, odd news or news about popular gadgets. Digg's front page shows you the most popular articles, not necessary the articles with the best content.

Similarity #2: Vote Manipulation
Both American Idol and has a voting sytem, and there are people who try to manipulate it.

There is a site called, that urge voters to vote for the weakest singer in the competition. Howard Stern also launches a campaign to ask its listener to vote for Sanjaya.

For digg, there is a site called, User/Submitter, that let users to pay people to digg your site.

Similarity #3: Taste preferences
American Idol accepts all music genres, but the show seems to prefer R&B singers. Other than Carrie Underwood, singers of other music genres seldom make it very far in the competition.

News that got to digg's front page have many common traits. Usually, they are related to technology, science or environment. Article that contains unusual photographs can also get to Digg's front page too. As a Christian myself, I also noticed that most articles on digg's front page are atheist. You never see any religious articles in digg's front page.

Similarity #4: The Teenagers influences
Sanjaya has many teenage fans. This is one of the reason why he is able to stay in the competition for such a long time.

To teenagers, Digg is a very cool way to get news. The teenagers has a very strong influence in digg.

Who will be the Sanjaya of the Blogosphere?


matt608 said...

Dugg! Your are getting much better at posting! Keep it up! :D

Johnny Cash said...

Thanks Matt!

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