In Box

Attack of the Digg Clones

How the Internet's most powerful click factory went global.

Any blogger worth his salt knows that in addition to Google and blogosphere buzz, the fastest way to Internet stardom is through user-generated content aggregators such as Reddit, StumbleUpon, and most especially Digg.

For the uninitiated, Digg uses a wisdom-of-the-crowds approach to filtering the Web. Anyone can post a link to a story, video, or image (usually, the more salacious or juvenile, the better). Others then vote, or "Digg," their favorites. Earn enough Diggs and you might make it to the site’s coveted front page, which can drive enough visitors to overwhelm even the sturdiest of servers.

In the past few years, specialized Digg clones have sprung up in dozens of languages and on subjects ranging from financial news to international soccer to pornography.

One of the largest and most influential Digg clones is Menéame, a Spanish site launched in 2005. Menéame released a free version of its software that easily allows programmers to create sites copying Digg’s rating system. Digg clones have proliferated like rabbits ever since.

Check out India’s HotKlix, for instance, for the latest news on the Mumbai terrorism investigation or, if you prefer, scandalous photos of Bollywood starlets. Israel’s Hadash-Hot gets nearly 40,000 visitors a day posting on technology and political news. CKA is the one to visit if you’re a Canadian nationalist.

Whatever you’re into, or wherever you’re from, there’s probably a Digg clone out there for you, too.

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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