Fast Company

The Digg Election

As all of the intricate twists and turns of primary season, convention season, and now the main stage of the election have happened, there has been one site that I have relied on: Digg.com. The social news site where people submit and vote on news items has become one of the best political aggregators. Every day, stories from newspapers and political sites are dugg up to the front page. Videos of cable news shows, political ads, and speeches at political rallies also rise to the top. It keeps me pretty well informed.

But, you can make the argument that it doesn't. Ninty-five percent of the political material is pro-Obama and anti-McCain. And while this appeals to a liberal New Yorker like myself, I also look for the other perspective online -- just not at Digg. Why is it that Digg is so liberal? Are technophiles and internet geeks typically democrats? But how does that explain the many Ron Paul stories that have come up over the last year? I suppose Digg has a libertarian contingent as well.

Is the reason behind Digg's left-leaning ways because Democrats seem to "get" the tech community more? Comparing Obama and McCain's online efforts, Obama clearly has a more established presence -- not to mention the Obama campaign's impressive use of text messaging. The stereotype is that Republicans are old-fogies that don't get computers and, while obviously not 100 percent true, that may indicate the imbalance of political coverage.

I think what it ultimately comes down to is the cluster effect. Not only are people moving from one city to another to be in communities that share their political viewpoint, they are making this migration online as well. How many Republicans only get their news from Fox? Most Democrats will not watch anything on Fox News and stick with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. And online they will ignore RedState and stick with Daily Kos.

Well, I don't like living in a divided America. I hope more people go out of their way to watch television, surf sites, and generally seek info from the other side. How can we grow and change if we are not open-minded?

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