The Simple Truth About Digg’s Lack of Profits

It was hard.  For as long as I can remember, I have not been one who clicks on banner ads.  Heck, in most cases, I don’t even see them (thank you FF).

A friend of mine who is an avid reader turned me onto Audible.com to download audio books.  With recent articles in BusinessWeek and TechCrunch about the financial woe’s they’re having at Digg, I remembered seeing an Audible ad on Digg and thought, why not?

Audible Ad on Digg

I’m going to be signing up for the service anyway.  Why not throw a bone to the site that consumes a ton of my time?

The results weren’t good:

Bad URL

These things happen.  I sent an email to Digg pointing out the issue and waited.  It is now 4 days later.  I surfed Digg, doing my thing, checking every time I went to a new page to see if my target ad had found me.  It eventually did, but still, it didn’t work. (more…)

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Mixx vs Propeller: One’s Going Up, the Other, well

Propeller vs MixxRecent changes at both Propeller and Mixx have pushed the inevitable forward.  Mixx, the brainchild of Chris McGill, has been poised for success for about a year now.  Propeller, the once-proud Netscape, was doomed the moment that AOL stepped into the picture.

If recent trends on Alexa (which we all know are not always accurate) give any indication about what is happening, then Mixx is making the move to become the 3rd choice amonst social media sites.  Propeller, on the other hand, is heading down, down, down as users have expressed concerns about a lack of communication from the administrators as well as a disastrous redesign that threatened to push its dwindling core of users off to another site (perhaps even Mixx). (more…)

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News Niblets: Social Media’s Best and Worst Quality

NibletsMany people love appetizers.  They’re usually overpriced, under-portioned, and loaded with calories, but we love them anyway.  Why?  Because they’re quick, easy, and too the point.

Social media websites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller offer the same product in the form of headlines.  We get to nibble on the news, taking it in bits and pieces, served to us through headlines that are often sensationalized or pointed.  While some people take the nibble and move on the main course by reading the full story, a good portion of us live on the appetizers.  We read the headlines, possibly read the descriptions, occasionally scan the story (or even just the first few paragraphs), then it’s back to the social media site for the next bite of news via headlines.

Some never make it past the headlines, establishing a reaction or opinion based on the nibblet.  This is good.  This is also bad. (more…)

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Pwned: The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment Initial Results

First, a disclaimer about this experiment and the analysis.

In retrospect, this experiment was flawed.  The subject matter and style of delivery was very clearly geared in favor of one of the combatants.  When it was initially conceived, it was decided that the experiment would best be delivered through a post that announced itself.  By checking traffic statistics on a post titled: “The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment”, there would be equal billing, equal exposure, and most importantly, equal chances through the delivery methods to give both sides a chance.

We were wrong. (more…)

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The Godfather and Social Media

Vito as StumbleUpon?In many ways, the top level websites of social media can be compared to the fictional world of The Godfather.  Sounds weird?  Hear me out.

The Godfather showed us a world of beauty and corruption.  Alliances were made and broken.  Those who were good to the family were rewarded, while anyone who stepped in the way was hit.

Social media works in much the same way.  It can be beautiful, offering the best of the web compiled into loosely organized areas where masses of people can flood a worthy website and enjoy its offerings.  It can be corrupt, as spammers use the power of social media to drive traffic to unworthy websites. (more…)

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Front Page Addiction: Destroying Families, Ruining Lives

*** As my first real parody piece, I am moving this up in the blog to see if it gets more comment luv. ***

A little-known but dangerous epidemic is spreading across members of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, and Mixx.  Like a secret scourge, SM-FPA (social media front page addiction) isn’t making national headines yet, but the effects have been felt in thousands of households across the world.

“Ever since my wife’s submission hit the front page of Reddit last month, we only see her on the way to the bathroom,” said Jake Dixon.  His wife Amber, better known as “diggwho”, made the front page of Reddit with a story titled Bush makes more people mad by saying something stupid.  Since then, Amber has been submitting 15-25 stories per day and has a submission hit the front page 3-5 times per week.  She declined to be interviewed.

Research scientists at the Social Media Institute of Technology (SMIT) in Kolkata, India, say that Mr. Dixon and his family are not alone.  They have documented 342 confirmed cases of SM-FPA in 2007 and estimate the actual number in the thousands. (more…)

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The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment

DiggStumbleUpon(The results are in.  Read them at StumbleUpon vs Digg).

Bloggers and webmasters out there who watch their traffic as closely as we do have been amazed by the “Stumble Effect”.  Many know about the sudden burst of traffic that comes from the “Digg Effect” when a submission reaches the front page of Digg (or even better, if it reaches the “Top in All…” section on the frontpage).  This is normally a day of joy (or terror if your server bombs) followed by limited tricklings of traffic.

Stumble has a different, more steady infusion of traffic that it can send to a website that gets stumbled, especially if it is hit by multiple top users.  The effect is sustained, but more importantly, can be rejuvinated by a thumbs up and/or review by the right person/people.

Digg, on the other hand, has the advantage of having “controlled” traffic.  Anyone watching their posts as they’re submitted and rising on Digg can pinpoint if and approximately when their page will go popular.  You know when the traffic is coming and you know when it will stop. (more…)

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Trouble with Reddit? Here’s some tips from qgyh2, the Reddit Jedi Master

This is a repost of an article that still applies today despite being about 19 years old.

RedditSince the beginning of the year, I’ve been studying the major social news websites. Reddit, being one of the best ones, was obviously tops on my list. I did everything that seemed to work well on Digg, Propeller, Newsvine, and most other social media sites.

The results were different from the others. I was successful in the others. Needless to say, I wasn’t successful at Reddit.

My first technique was simple. Make friends, spam a lot, wait for the “Karma” to rise. It didn’t. Actually took a week to break 20. I wasn’t happy, but I kept trying.

I’ve discovered some tricks and tips, rising to a marginally respectable Karma around 1700 over several months. Most of those points have come in the last two. Still, I really couldn’t find rhyme or reason to what was working and what wasn’t. Stories that I thought would surely hit the homepage got down-modded to oblivion, while others that were decent stories at best got dozens, even hundreds of votes.

So, I asked. (more…)

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New Blogs Focus on What Did NOT Hit the Front Page of Digg

PopFAILOn an episode of The Drill Down 3 weeks ago, MrBabyMan, Zaibatsu, MSaleem, and about 50 people in the chat room of their Ustream broadcast discussed putting up a site where stories that didn’t make it to the front page of Digg could “find a resting place.”  After a quick brainstorming session, Lost Shovels was born.

While it hasn’t taken off yet as hoped with only 4 stories posted there currently, a variation of the idea was created at PopFAIL.  This one has much more activity currently (I am one of the contributors) and each submission is accompanied by an analysis of why it didn’t make it and why it should have made it to the front page of Digg. (more…)

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