Techcrunch mentions a new Hitwise statistic today that compares the traffic of the New York Times website to Digg.com. And, surprise, surprise. The Times is still more popular:

"According to the Hitwise US sample of 10 million internet users, Digg ranked at #101 in the News & Media category in for the week ending July 1, 2006. The share of page impressions for the NY Times was 19 times greater than for Digg for that week. "

The Techcrunch readership weights in with a lot of good arguments why this comparison is moot in the first place. Alex Rudloff for example says:

"Without NYTimes, there would be no Digg. Digg is agreggate and links to journalism. NYTimes is journalism. This just in there are still more phones than phone books."

He's right about the apples and the oranges, but I think he's ignoring the peaches, strawberrys and bananas. Digg doesn't just link to the New York Times and other traditional journalistic news sources, but to blogs, forums and other new forms of publishing as well. For every link to the Times you'll find one to the Huffington Post, and for every offical movie trailer there are links to at least ten mashups. This makes Digg both an indicator and a catalyst for the rising importance of what some people call citizen journalism.

All that aside, Digg does show a huge growth rate. They just send me their recent statistics yesterday, and these numbers are pretty impressive: They claim to have 360.00 registered users now, with a growth rate of 100 percent per month. They get one million unique visits and 10.000 new signups each day. All these users post between 2500 and 3000 new stories per day. Again, those numbers are from Digg, so it's up to you if you trust the orange.