A Digg Clone With Impressive Features And Built On

Sifd_logo.pngOver the past couple of years we have seen many digg clones popping all with dreams of reaching the dizzy height’s of, none have ever achieved anywhere near to the success of launched this week as yet another one of these hopeful contenders to the digg crown, coded in with some tasty features and looking uneasily similar to digg how will sift’d measure up?

Most digg clone startup’s we see are built on open source cms systems like Pligg or Drigg, both these systems are limited in their own way and realistically pose no threat to digg. sift’d however has clearly been coded from the ground up using ASP.


The biggest difference from digg is the promotion algorithm, below is how the sift’d team describe the algorithm’s function.

The front paging algorithm is very simple. Every 15 minutes the top upcoming stories in each section are examined. We automatically exclude the category, user and source that was last made popular in that section.

Each story has an invisible score that is the sum of each voter, burier and commenter’s SiftKarma at the time that they committed the action on that story. From that score and the age of the story we calculate the momentum each story has and if it is greater than or equal to the threshold for that section then it is made popular.

The threshold for each section is a sliding scale. It is 20% less than the score that was previously made popular in that section. If no submissions meet that criteria it is reduced by 20% to lower the barrier for the next time the software runs 15 minutes later.

For making stories featured we follow the same process but by examining stories that have been made popular in the last 2 hours.

SiftKarma mentioned above has a purpose in helping towards preventing spammers because people who submit junk that gets buried will end up with less and less weight each time.

Every user at Sift’d has a value between 1 and 100 percent that is their SiftKarma. Every time they vote or comment they ’spend’ some of their SiftKarma, and every time another someone votes on their submissions and comments they ‘earn’ more.

We think this is going to be a great way to combat spammers because people who submit junk that gets buried will end up with less and less weight each time.

It also effectively deals with anyone who makes multiple accounts. If a person makes 40 accounts and tries to get their submission front paged it might work – once or twice – but eventually their 40 accounts will have a combined weight of one user with average SiftKarma. Their 40 accounts, even if they’re used to +vote each other, result in a net loss for each account.

The only way a person could maintain their deception would be by having each of their accounts participating on the site and receiving positive votes by real users which might be feasible for a couple of accounts but maintaining multiple personas that attract positive attention is likely to be impossible for any lengthy period of time.

People using services like are also going to find themselves out of luck unless they can devote time into maintaining good SiftKarma to offset what they use selling their votes.

Normal users shouldn’t suffer much, if any, penalty because of SiftKarma. Anyone using the site submitting stories, voting and commenting is going to attract positive and negative votes from other users that should keep them well balanced – unless they’re habitual trolls anyway.

Another difference is the submission process. While similar to Digg, Sift’d’s system allows for a much larger range of content to be added, including multiple images and videos (only from YouTube right now). Digg’s system allows for a single thumbnail, taken at the time it scrapes whatever URL you provide. Sift’d does the same thing, as well as letting you upload your own image if it’s not able to grab something when it goes through that page.

Siftd Submit Page

Siftd Submit Page step 3

sift’d is a pretty neat site with too many features to list, RSS Feeds are really well integrated as are comments and friend activity etc. I don’t think that it will challenge digg but it’s definitely worth a sign up and browse, even if it’s only to get some ideas for your own social news site or just to see a custom digg clone in action.


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Author: Lincoln on May 23rd, 2008

Category: Blog

Tags: , , , ,

  1. bbrian017 says:

    We sure do see a lot of sites popping up like digg! It’s the age of social networking like it or not! I think the most interesting think about your initial comment, “Over the past couple of years we have seen many digg clones popping all with dreams of reaching the dizzy height

  2. Unknown says:

    Great article. Thank you for keeping us informed on digg-like startups.

    Nice seeing bbrian017 here also. I hope his site is doing well.

    I was wondering, does anyone know where I can find some resources to build an image scraper like the one on digg or the one seen on sift’d? I’ve been searching a little for a way to parse/scrape images, but still haven’t found anything useful.

  3. LincolnHawks says:

    Hi Unknown,

    I was actually looking into this feature and came across this information.
    hope that helps.

  4. Gokhan Ulus says: is the place to share your favorites and to communicate with others that share your interests.You are the editor and if your story is popular it will be published on the front page.

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