Take a look round the internet, and you’ll find stories and posts littered with icons urging you to share the content via social bookmarking services such as Digg and StumbleUpon. But take a look at the sites themselves, and it’s clear that they are not only dominated by US users but also often designed with only the US in mind. For example, look at the categories available for classifying content on Digg: there’s American Football but not cricket, non-US news gets lumped into the one world news category without any breakdown by other countries, and so on. The one exception is Yahoo Buzz, which does come with a dedicated UK version but has very low usage rates.
So which ones do actually matter if you are after a UK audience?
One way of judging this is to look at UK traffic to these sites, as measured by the number of people using Google to search for the name of the site. That doesn’t give a total traffic figure, as people get to bookmarking sites via other means including bookmarks and typing in URLs directly, but it gives a sense of relative traffic and traffic over time.
Google’s data on the volume of searches from UK internet users shows a long, sustained decline in Digg from its peak in early 2007 has continued right through the last 12 months, leaving Delicious much the most popular. Although Digg attracts more news about its activities than Reddit or StumbleUpon, either or both of them look likely to overtake Digg in the not too distant future in the UK.
Within these totals, there are different niche audiences amongst whom particular tools are much more or less popular than the average. But the overall figures and trends give a good starting point for what may matter to you.