Kirix Strata Extensions

Digg Import

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by Jeff Engel |

The Digg Import extension enables you to query the social news site Digg and returns the results in a table.  This extension uses the Digg API and lets you query based on date, story category and user name.  With the Digg API, you have access to the entire history of the Digg database since its inception in December 2004.

Overview

Digg is a social news site that allows anyone to submit news stories.  Users then “digg” the stories they like and the most popular items bubble to the top of the list and, if popular enough, to the front page.  During the bubbling process, they are considered “upcoming” stories; once they reach the front page, they are considered “popular” stories.

Digg offers an API to their entire historical database (from December 2004) of both upcoming and popular stories, including date submitted, submitter, number of diggs, number of comments, etc.  The data provides an opportunity for interesting research, both into the website itself as well as into the social phenomenon of what is deemed “popular.”

Instructions

  1. After installing the extensions, select “Digg Import” from the Tools menu and the Digg Import dialog will appear (click on the thumbnail above to see a full resolution screenshot).
  2. The dialog enables you to select various query options as follows:
  3. — Category: This is the category where the story was originally submitted, such as Technology, Sports, etc.
    — Status: This is the type of story you want to receive, such as upcoming stories or those that hit the front page of Digg.
    — Username: Instead of selecting a category of stories, you may instead select stories submitted by a specific Digg user.
    — Start Date: The first date of the range you wish to return. This will return stories that were submitted from 12:01 AM on the day you select.
    — End Date: The last date of the range you wish to return. This will return stories that were submitted up to 12:00 PM on the day you select.
    — Output: The folder and filename of the output table in your project.
    — Append: If you have previously queried Digg and want to append additional records to that table, make sure you are using the same file name and path and then check the Append box. The new records will then be appended to the existing table.

  4. Once you have defined your query, click Start and the import process will begin.  NOTE:  The Digg API employs a throttle which limits importing to groups of 100 records every 10 seconds.  If your output table is large (such as selecting all upcoming Technology stories for a month), you will need to provide significant time for the query to process due to this throttle.
  5. Once the import is finished, your table will appear in the folder/filename  path you selected.  Open the table to start analyzing your results.  Here is an example of an output table:

Digg Import, output table

Version 1.0.685; Nov 04, 2008

2 Responses to “Digg Import”

  1. Simon says:

    Hi, I tried this extension but it retrieves only the most recent diggs regardless of the dates entered. Is this because of the Digg v4 overhaul?

  2. Ken says:

    Hello Simon,

    We haven’t updated/tested this extension for the Digg version 4 yet. Given the overhaul Digg made on this last version, I wouldn’t be surprised if their API changed enough to cause problems with this code.

    Unfortunately, it isn’t something we’re going to have a chance to look at in the short term, but we’ll post something here when we do get to it. However, if you happen to be savvy with javascript, you can check out the code in the extension and see if you can tweak it to match up with the latest digg API.

    Sorry about that,
    Ken
    Kirix Support

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Kirix Strata enables you to create plug-ins that extend the functionality of the software. This section is dedicated to showing off the extensions people have created. Feel free to download any of them and try them out. If you have one you'd like to list, please let us know.

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