N4G: A Digg-Like Community for Gamers

When N4G ordered a ReviewMe review from John, he immediately turned to me to do it. Why? Well, I’ve always been a Nintendo fanboy, playing video games my entire life, whereas John is more interested in making money online. He may have chosen the more lucrative hobby, but one can argue that my choice is a little more fun.

What is N4G?

N4G is a website designed to provide news for gamers. They’ve got sections for just about every current console, from the motion sensitive Nintendo Wii to the hardcore Cell processor found in the PlayStation 3. They’ve also got news on mobile gaming, the gaming industry, and even tech talk on things related to gaming, like Blu-Ray Discs, Alienware desktops, and Apple TV.

n4g-front.JPG

What sets N4G apart from more prominent websites like Gamespot, 1Up, and IGN is that instead of having a small team of professional writers, they open up the news channels to everyone. They do have an official group of people that work for N4G, but just about anyone can contribute to the news feeds and this is what creates the site’s biggest appeal. When you start out, you can only submit news tips that have to be picked up by more senior members, but as you pass certain tests, you can ascend the ranks of N4G and unlock privileges (it’s sort of like a real-life RPG). Proving your worth, you gain the ability to post news stories yourself and even approve other people’s submissions.

There are four “member roles” in all: Gamer, Contributor, Editor, and Journalist.

A Digg Community for Gamers

You’ll notice that next to each news story, there is a “temperature rating.” Working much like Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, and other social bookmarking sites, this temperature is designed to tell you how “hot” the particular news item is. Getting a high temperature rating on a news story is akin to getting on Digg’s front page. Just don’t get yourself banned.

n4g-temp.JPG

Unlike Digg, however, you don’t need to wait for the news story to propagate its way through the community and get a bunch of hits before it gets noticed. According to the N4G FAQ, they use some sort of special algorithm “which looks at the combined attention a story gets and the nature of this attention over different time periods.” This way, it can flag a story as important, moments after it is posted.

Information Overload, Prizes Too

I found N4G to be a bit on the cluttered side, with text and pictures everywhere. It’s a little overwhelming, but this appears to be the norm with most video game websites. After all, video games seem to be all about sensory overload. I also noticed that there’s a heavier focus on “hardcore gaming”, so to speak, with the most popular games being titles like Killzone 2, Halo 3, and Final Fantasy XIII. There’s not as much love for games like Elite Beat Agents, Rayman Raving Rabbids, or Jewel Quest.

Because N4G relies on the community to submit its news, they have a little bit of extra money kicking around that they would have otherwise spent on professional writers, reviewers, and journalists. As such, they reward the most prolific and “useful” users with prizes.

When you submit a news tip or write a N4G blog entry, you get a certain number of points. When a news story you wrote reaches a certain temperature, you get more points. Because it’s still in beta, they haven’t said how much these points are actually worth, but somewhere down the line, they will likely let you “spend” them in some sort of N4G marketplace.

n4g-user.JPG

Looking at some of the “top users”, they’ve got themselves some pretty dedicated members. Giving them a free game or two is considerably cheaper than what it would cost to actually pay them to do the same work.

By Gamers, For Gamers

As the community on N4G continues to grow, I think it has an excellent chance of gaining a huge readership, because they have an entire planet of video game players at their disposal, dishing out the juiciest news, rumors, and reviews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The site could stand to clean up a little bit of the clutter, but it still loads quickly. I think I found myself a new source for video game news.


24 thoughts on “N4G: A Digg-Like Community for Gamers”

  1. This is a great idea – I can’t buy a game without checking out the reviews. Speaking of which – does anyone know if Halo 3 coming out tonight?

    1. I have had one of my WesleyTech.com articles hit the frontpage of N4G.com before. It brought in a lot of traffic, so I believe the site is already very popular…

      Thank you,
      Wesley…
      http://DVDRentalForums.com

      1. Jonix says:

        Doesn’t n4g for gammers? What wesleytech has to do with games???

        This is a hell of a review, i love it. Well, i like games, i admit.

        1. WesleyTech.com is my site dedicated to optical storage technology and news. Blu-ray, HD DVD and related subjects such as PS3 and Xbox 360 HD DVD drives are covered.

          Stop by my site and have a look for yourself. πŸ˜‰

          Thank you,
          Wesley…
          http://DVDRentalForums.com

  2. Dave says:

    Looks interesting. I’m a gamer…I’ll have to check it out πŸ™‚

    1. Jonix says:

      Check it dave, it worth your time

  3. Looks good that they have a specific focus on games. Better than some of the other social networking sites where there’s not much focus on news provided. Definitely great for gamers alike.

  4. Chris Chen says:

    Could the future of social networking sites be focused niches? It’s hard to be a jack-of-all trades while being the best at every topic.

    I’d say we have many more focused social networking sites.

    1. Marc says:

      Pick a working idea and take it vertical… It’s the latest trend. Though less interesting and groundbreaking, it’s certainly a safe approach.

      1. Dave says:

        There’s nothing wrong with a safe approach. I mean you have to take some risks, but playing it safe every now and then ain’t a bad idea either.

  5. I’ve seen tht site somewhere else, forget where.

    1. Chris says:

      Did I link to it on my blog? πŸ˜›

      I’ve been using n4g for a while now, sends lots of traffic to your site if you get a hot story πŸ˜‰

      1. Dave says:

        I can see that being helpful if you have gaming news on your site.

  6. Peter says:

    I prefer Profigg… this website was recently launched and allows readers to win great prizes every month… :mrgreen:

  7. HMTKSteve says:

    I will have to check this out.

    How does the community react to submitting your own site?

    1. HMTKSteve says:

      I failed the test by only getting 12 out of 14 right…

      1. 12 out of 14 is a failure?? That reminds me of the time when I was going for my Driving test. Only 2 mistakes and that’s it.

      2. Michael Kwan says:

        I also only got 12 out of 14… but I didn’t read any of the guidelines before taking the plunge, so I’d say that’s not too bad.

  8. Jon Lee says:

    Looks good, it seems like they put a lot of work into this site!

  9. InvestMe says:

    thanks john for a very informative topics! πŸ™‚

  10. It looks good I am sure it will do well, not not a Gamer myself (too much blogging and website development)

  11. DanyO says:

    looks like a good hangout place for the gamers community, I will definitely take a good look that the site.

  12. This is pretty nifty — kinda like having an online gamers’ club, but way cooler.

  13. Mr. Red says:

    That is sweet, i’m a game junky and love the concept

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