Ex-TCer Marshall Kirkpatrick tells the tale of Digg power-user MrBabyMan, one of the most prolific and popular Diggers on the site. Digg is basically a popularity contest: you submit stories and you hope other people find them good. However, if you have enough juice at Digg you can get your stories on the front page almost immediately, which is a boon to websites but leaves smaller Diggers out in the cold as MrBabyMan scoops up their stories and is almost immediately catapulted to the front page.
Why should you care, however, about the whinings of a group of Slashdot-wannabes talking about Apple, Lego, Star Wars, and Ron Paul? Well, Digg is one of the purest and most interesting social platforms out there, even if it is limited to a few cool stories per day. Sadly, the concept that MrBabyMan is “stealing” links angers some on the site who are trying to keep Digg pure, which is as quixotic a concept as trying to keep independent music unpopular.
Digg is a strange outlier in the land of social news. It is undeniably popular and getting a front page story is akin to landing an above the fold, front page spot in the New York Times. This strange story of a Disney animator named MrBabyMan is really the story of lost innocence and the madness of crowds.