What Digg Taught Me Yesterday

@Kevin | Social

I have never been a big digg user, I have had one post here on Buzz Networker make the front page but otherwise I will occasionally submit something more from just some search engine value. In my social media class last semester we discussed how digg and other social voting cites really don’t represent the best in news or being an open and true voting system. Digg like many other sites is controlled by a small group of submitters, 100 people control 56% of the front page content.

Yesterday I decided to see if I could get a post from my humor page, pointlessbanter.net to the front page of digg by leveraging all my social media contacts. I felt that the post was funny enough and interesting enough to have broad appeal.

Where did I ask for diggs

My Twitter Account.

-In communities and forums that I belong to including the B5 Forum and BlogCatalog.

-I asked my facebook and MySpace friends.

-My friends on Digg

What happened?

The post got a really positive reaction and people within these communities really came through especially when they saw the post gaining momentum throughout the day. Within about 6 hours I had close to 150+ diggs on the post and had the top position in the “hot in all upcoming” posts section. Usually that is the staging point for before you go to the front page. My post continued to grow, breaking the 200 digg mark and then boom, my post disappeared from the “hot in all upcoming” and didn’t make the front page.

That was kind of disappointing; I really thought that I was going to get there. Instead out of the humor category a post about a hooters calendar made it. That post had disappeared and then reappeared during the day, so I still had hope but it didn’t happen.

What did I learn?

While I didn’t make the front page my post did gain a lot of traffic from digg, around 700 page views. I also received a lot of stumbles and even a post on reddit which brought me almost 100 hits.

Also I gained around 30 RSS subscribers and had three posts link to my original post.

Away from the numbers is a valuable lesson. The first being if you aren’t in the cool kids club you are fighting an uphill battle on digg, sure there are some sites that post quality content but does every post that cracked.com or some semi popular site really need to make the front page because they have an army of readers? When you are starting with 40-50 diggs with just about everything you post how is it fair or equal for any other site?

The second lesson I learned, which is by far way more important is that you can leverage social media to garner a reaction for your work. People that you connect with on a daily basis will reach out and support your effort, which is something I didn’t think would happen. It was really cool to see the support I was getting in various communities, with the best reaction coming on blogcatalog which totally reinforces why I spend so much time on there. I just need to remember that I need to return the favor and extend a helping hand when my friends on there need it.

While I learned the lesson that digg is frankly political and bullshit, I also learned that all the participation I have done on social networking sites has produced a powerful group of friends.

(Oh yeah, if you want give this a digg.)