That Buzz you hear is not coming from The Hive but instead, is the sound of Yahoo! Buzz opening up to the public. Yahoo! Buzz is a social news site like Digg where users can vote or in this case, Buzz items. Yahoo determines which topics people are searching for on their search engine and then they showcase the most popular stories within those topics on the buzz page where users can vote up or down.
The way in which Yahoo! Buzz used to work is that, you needed to be a select publisher in order to submit your articles to the Buzz voting system. With Buzz now open to the public, anyone can submit a story. However, the question that remains to be answered is, will links that show up on Buzz or even on the Yahoo.com front page be selected democratically by the votes of Buzz users? According to Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb, they don’t believe they will.
At the time of this writing, the Buzz front page showcased 5 out of 15 articles on the Top Buzz list which were stories that were produced on Yahoo powered sites. As Marshall points out, there has been no evidence which links highly voted stories on Buzz to their actual display on the front page. Unlike Digg, Buzz appears to have editorial control over what is displayed on the front page which may be one of the reasons behind the sites success. Just about everyone I’ve talked to agrees that having editorial control on a social news voting site not only cuts down on spam, but also slims down the chance of gaming the system which is still readily apparent on Digg.
With Buzz now open to the public, those of you who use WordPress can install a plugin called WPBuzz which will add a BuzzThis! button to your posts. The plugin was created by Travis Johnson. Installation instructions can be found for the plugin here.
Will you be ditching Digg in favor of Buzz? What are your thoughts on Buzz becoming a Digg killer? What do you think is the recipe for success when it comes to appearing on the front page of Buzz?