The social news/video/photo site, Digg, will be rolling out their long anticipated recommendation engine to users this week. The rollout will be starting with a random sampling of users and eventually moving towards the entire user base at the end of the week. Digg's recommendation engine will try to engage more users in the upcoming section of the site by recommending stories from similar users.
Digg's upcoming section, where stories wait for enough diggs in order to get promoted, has been very intimidating for users to jump head first into, given the volume of stories being submitted. It was fairly hard to sift through all of the crap in order to get to the real gems. Hopefully the introduction of a recommendation engine will make it a lot easier for users to find the quality submissions.
I believe that the addition of a recommendation to Digg is going to significantly help with the usability of the site and direct people towards the long tail of submissions. By adding a lot of new eyes to the upcoming section, Digg's homepage will certainly get a much fresher look than we have seen recently.
The other important factor to look at here is the apparent benefit that the recommendation engine will be giving to websites. Making content more discoverable on Digg means more traffic for the sites that the content has been submitted from. I suspect that more and more sites will begin to feel the Digg effect as a direct result of the launch of this feature.
The introduction of a recommendation engine should give Digg a nice jolt. I haven't seen the feature in action yet, but if it is implemented correctly, I see Digg becoming a much more valuable resource and frequented by a lot more people. Kevin Rose posted a couple of videos on the Digg Blog which you can see embedded below. The first is an overview by Kevin of the recommendation engine, complete with graphics and the second features Anton Kast, Digg's Lead Scientist, talking about the new engine. You can read his whitepaper on the subject here.
Digg Recommendation Engine from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.
Anton Talks About The Digg Recommendation Engine from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.