The update to Digg yesterday brought with it a handful of tweaks, although notably absent was the much anticipated photos section. Keep in mind that you'll still find Digg saturated in photos, there's just not a bona fide section for them, or way to view pictures on-site. While confirmed on the official Digg blog that a special photo section is on track for October (two months from now), there's already a handful of sites to get your fix for photos made popular by real people. Here are seven of my favorites:
Reddit Media isn't actually endorsed or created by Reddit. Instead it pulls from Reddit's news feed, and searches out picture previews for stories that have words like [PIC], [picture], and [video] in the story title. In addition to photos, you'll also find video clips among the popular items. You'll find many of the items that show up on Reddit Media and Reddit in general are the same that make their way to Digg, although this is currently a better way to browse because of the small photo thumbnails next to each story that show you what you're in for.
Picli is a very slick-looking service that most accurately emulates the Digg experience. There's an upcoming batch of photos you can browse and vote up. The front page is populated with the last 15 most popular pictures, which are made up of professional, or good looking amateur shots. Many of the shots that tend to make the front page are landscapes, macrophotography, and black-and-whites. For all its beauty, Picli is noticeably missing the humorous and outrageous shots that you tend to see on Digg's front page, making the site feel more like Flickr's interesting photo roundup page instead.
Phoja uses a system similar to Picli, except with a twist. You can upload shots to the service from your mobile phone, and there's an emphasis on user commenting. To encourage participation on submitted photos, the service integrates Google AdSense and awards the top-ranked commenter for each post a share of the photo page's ads. The site is pitching itself as a way to get advice while on the go, by leveraging the wisdom of the crowds. Their examples include gadget-buying advice on the go, and book shopping, although I see commenting as more as an asynchronous activity--especially considering people won't necessarily see a photo until it makes the front page.
Linkinn may not have the prettiest home page of the bunch, but you can view huge sets of photos without having to leave the site. It takes on a similar system to Digg with a front page, and simple one-click "Like it" buttons with thumbs up. Similar to Reddit Media, and Digg itself, there's also a section for user-submitted videos which can also be watched in-site. There's also a referral system setup where you can get points for any inbound links, submissions, and user comments, along with a top listing of users doing the most of each.
Photozook may not be the most technically advanced of the bunch, but it features large and clear photo thumbnails for each story post. Like Digg, the front page is populated with the most recently popularized shots, and users can vote, comment on, and favorite any shot. One of its cooler features is Photo Ticker, which is essentially a clone of Digg Spy. You can keep an eye on all the latest user uploads, votes, and comments in real time. There's also a handy tag cloud to sort through submitted shots, assuming submitters have taken the time to tag their shots.
Imgppl is a really simple, and well done photo-voting site that employs a voting system very similar to Reddit's. Maybe one of the most peculiar aspects of Imgppl is that no user registration is required, or even offered--meaning you can vote, submit, and comment on photos on the site freely. Development on the site seems to have been at a relative standstill since late March, but people are still submitting photos to the service every day.
Biggsmash is about as close to a Digg clone as it gets, because it's pretty much a carbon-copy clone of the last iteration of Digg sans user controls, Digg labs, and a soul, of course. Biggsmash gets all its stories off the Digg API feed, and attempting to Digg, comment, or blog about any story on Biggsmash will send you back to the original story page on Digg. The one thing it does have that Digg doesn't is a section for photos, which it manages to separate in a similar fashion to Reddit Media--grabbing keywords from the title.