The headlines – 10. Sept

Sarah Palin’s alleged misuse of her gubernatorial “per diem” allowance (“intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business,” as I learned from the Washington Post’s article) has been one of the hot topics across the board – but it’s missing from the front page of Digg. The numbers might explain why.

The numbers of readers, that is; Digg is much more popular than any of the other 3 surveyed social news sites, as the number of votes testify. (Just to make it clear: each individual user can cast a single vote on any number of articles; but web traffic figures suggest that the number of readers (passive readers) is considerably higher than the number of voters.)

…which of course means that, naturally, it takes more votes, and consequently more time to get on the front page of Digg. Sure enough, the Post’s article is at the time of writing this in the “Upcoming” section at Digg, and I’m pretty sure it will eventually end up on the front page.

Again, this is a small reminder – at least to myself – that size does, in more than one way, matter when it comes to social news sites. One of the starting hypotheses of my research was that there is an ideal size for such sites; they should attract a large enough audience to provide a wide pool of opinions and news sources, yet small enough to keep conversation possible and the site quick and reflexive and actual. But these two conditions are in inherent conflict (at least to some extent), which suggests that social news sites have to assume a different role to that of the supplier of breaking news.

Anyhow, here are the latest headlines.



  • Obama objects to severance for ousted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEOs: Don’t reward “poor leadership” (TPM) / 1954 votes
  • Gallup Daily: Grandpa McCain Maintains 5-point Lead – Vote up if you think it’s insane. (Gallup) / 402
  • BREAKING brand new Sarah Palin corruption scandal (The Washington Post) / 369
  • Sarah Palin’s Alaskonomics: Alaskans are Just Better Americans. So Get Over It. (Time) / 365


  • Palin bills state for nights at home, kids’ travel (MSNBC) / 179 votes
  • No questions, please; Palin sticks to her script (AP) / 69
  • McCain as Messiah: “he’s running one of the most egocentric presidential campaigns in memory” (The Washington Post) / 63
  • Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home (The Washington Post) / 57


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