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6th Generation wiiPod announced! Sony PS3 Manufacturing plant explodes! (Video on Youtube) September 18, 2006

Posted by earthlingconcerned in wii.
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Fanboy: (n) Technocratic zealots; evangelicals of geekery. Characterized by irrational advocacy of a particular OS, console, company, or franchise. (urbandictionary.com)

I’ve been a Digg reader for well over a year and consider it one of, if not my favorite websites (along with Wikipedia). As of late, however, I’ve noticed a steady increase in fanboyism in some topics that should be quite obvious to anyone who reads Digg regularly. Diggers are obsessing over Nintendo’s Wii (and conversely, hating on Sony’s PS3), they’re suddenly in love with every single Apple rumor ever published and to a much lesser degree, making the site a Youtube portal. However, everything does happen for a reason. Not allowing Digg conspiracies to interfere with my point, if the majority of Diggers are hugely fanatic over certain topics, so be it, but I’m going to continue writing regardless.

Let’s start with PS3 and wii shall we? A quick 7 day search for all stories submitted on Wii will come up with 46 pages of results. The same search for front page stories comes up with 5 pages of results (meaning just under 11% of Wii stories make it to the front page). On the other hand, the same 7 day searches for “ps3” (searching for “playstation 3” has nearly identical results) for example, come up with 12 pages for total submitted, and a measly 1 for front page stories (just over 8% chance of making it to the front page). But if you take a look at what those front page articles are about, you’ll find that most of them are either bashing Sony, or are really just a pro-Wii story in disguise. The results are nowhere near what one might expect in coverage from the largest tech news site on the web. So what’s causing all the fanboy commotion? What are people writing about Wii?

In the last week alone, there have been 5 front page stories on the expected, and ultimately the confirmed release date of Wii. Four on the same day, saying the same thing, getting far more Diggs than your average front page article (three were in the 700 Digg range with one breaking the 2000 Digg mark). Then there are other front page stories that border on ridiculous. There’s the exclusive photos of the Wii retail kiosk that look like they were taken by the same guy who brought you those pictures of Nessie or Big Foot. A story with the title “Will Wii $150?!!! Vibe Magazine thinks so”, received 611 Diggs based some random scan of some random magazine. Finally, and most importantly of all, when the Wii packaging (aka. the box) was revealed, 1607 deemed it Diggworthy. The majority of the other Wii articles are based around screenshots or videos of upcoming games, how Nintendo stock is up and Sony stock is down and most constant reminder that Wii won’t ship with a DVD playback. All of this hype reminds me a little bit of myself when I was younger. Starring at the toys section of the Sears catalogue or dreaming about the day I would be able to feel the awesome power of 64bit when GamePro had a full-page spread of its Jaguar (thankfully, I never ended up getting the system). Younger indeed. According to a recent, highly scientific (cough) study, 50% of Digg users are between 17 and 24 years of age. That encompasses everyone from the youngin’ who is experiencing the online hype of an upcoming console for the first time (spunktacular!) to those who are becoming nostalgic during their quarter life crisis for the days of Nintendo yore.

Then there’s Apple.

Going back to my very unimpressive search results statistics, there have been a whopping 74 pages worth of submissions with Apple in the title in the last 7 days, with 7 pages worth making it to the front page. That’s about 9.5% of all Apple submissions making some money for duggmirror. I understand that there have been some big announcements in the world of Apple in the last week, but just about 100 front page stories (1099 total submitted!) on a very similar topic is a bit much for such a short time span. As for what these stories are about, a similar trend can be seen to that which was mentioned above with the Wii stories. There are countless rumors ranging from the confirmation of 6th generation IPods, Touch-Screen IPods, Apple Phone and how Apple’s recent price readjustment has caught Microsoft by surprise (think of the Wii = Good/PS3 = Bad stories). A lot of these rumors are started by sites who’s only bit of credibility is having a registered domain name. Sadly, as I am using a lowly WordPress sub domain, nothing I have ever written should be taken seriously and is most definitely blog spam. It all feels like the National Inquirer section of Digg. Then there are photos of IPod Nano docking stations, what an IPod looks like from the inside, and similarly irrelevant (how dare he!) stories. Granted, there are several other quality stories out there, but even many of those (Re: all of the repetitive stories on glitches/memory issues with iTunes 7).

What’s left? Well, there’s Youtube of course. Of the 88 pages of youtube related submissions (most of them video links), 6 pages worth made it to the front page. That’s a mere 6.8% front page hit rate. It seems like Digg is simply acting as an unnecessary middle man when it comes to these videos because the search feature on youtube.com seems fairly accurate. Is this Pointcast 2.0? But hey, I’m a Youtube fanboy myself so I’ll leave it at that.

So what does this all mean? . There’s also the idea that the fanboy has ongoing illusions of grandeur. Wii might crash and burn when people remember that Playstation 2 was good not only for the graphics, but because the games were in fact fun to play. Remember, it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. The recent Wii hype seems to suggest you can’t have it both ways. Similarly like what everyone who thought so much of the “Snakes on a Plane” hype only to see the movie bomb at the box office. I also have a feeling the trends mentioned in this article will increase in the coming months. Partially because release dates are nearing and so and such, but also because the community is growing. Just like the peoples of any given country have a similar culture, so too will future Diggers. You’ll find more Wii and Ipod talk on Digg then you ever would on Slashdot in its long and storied past. But if you really hate Microsoft and love Linux, Slashdot may be your cup of tea. So what am I doing on Digg in the first place? To be honest, I’m looking forward to Wii just as much as you are. Sometimes I just like writing. I hear that’s what makes people cool.

ipod dock wii retail kiosk Ipod Wii

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Comments»

1. Legend - October 10, 2006

Awesome post mate. Was a good and fair read.

2. CD Replication Man - January 7, 2007

Thanks for the post, very useful and informative.


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