News Flash – People Are Gaming Digg!

It has to be true. I read it on CNET.

It still amazes me that this type of stuff is a surprise to anyone.

Why do people assume that “social” media is some sort of utopia, when “society” clearly isn’t?

Would you write a 1,500-word magazine piece on the following topic?

Man Attempts to Sell Me Stolen Speakers From Back of Van!


But the worse part about this article is its naïve condescension towards marketers.

It’s not the content that matters apparently, it’s the intent.

If you intend to get Dugg, you’re a “dubious Internet marketer.”

Doesn’t matter how much work you put into the content, or how compelling it is.

I wish someone would have told me this earlier.

P.S. Anyone with a background in media knows that this CNET article is the journalistic equivalent of Digg bait. And it worked.

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Reader Comments (20)

  1. says

    It is in the vested interests of media sites like CNET to discredit amateur and small-scale professional producers of original content – to do otherwise would be to welcome their own destruction. I am not surprised, therefore, when CNET jumps on anything it can to try to undermine “new media.”

    That said, I think the problem arising from the Digg phenomenon is not a problem of a sudden profusion of self-serving or low-quality content on the Internet but rather a problem with poor editorial skills on the part of the general Digg user. To paraphrase what you said above, is the general public really who we want to be editorializing news? I say “no” simply on the basis of the observation that so many seem unable to discern between quality content, conscientiously produced, from content specifically intended to draw a crowd for crowd’s sake.

  2. says

    Seeding the internet includes not only the social sites but also A-list blogs and Opinion Leaders. Seeding companies are ninja marketers. Even everyday Joes are being hired to pitch on forums and at the local Best Buy.

    According to Paul Mardsden, you could reach 90% of your market through the 10% opinion leaders.
    We did a post on this recently.

    I think digg is using moderators to cut down on this practice.

  3. says

    1750+ Diggs on the CNET story so far… and they didn’t even take down those dubious advertisements that they make money from.

    How evil… :)

  4. says

    Absolutely. That site couldn’t afford to buy the type of link juice it’s getting, but instead it’s getting it delivered free of charge.

  5. zaibatsu says

    The problem I have with is that I don’t see ads on my browser, I use Opera and Ad Muncher, plus a hostfile with a zillion entries. So when I search for great stories for Digg, I don’t see the ads. Maybe I should use Virtual solution, but I’m lazy and it’s way to much work.

  6. says

    Sure, it’s not new, but it makes for a good headline, wouldn’t you agree? And yes, it is Digg bait. Now you’ve seen it on CNet though, give it a couple of more months then check out the AP or Reuters wires: you’ll see the same story. Reality is that news to us like this takes months to filter through the crowd to more mainstream sites (CNet) and even longer to the MSM.

  7. Jay says

    I felt the same way when I read this article earlier. Where do they draw the line between “spammer” and “Internet marketer?”

  8. says

    Every system is open to exploitation and social media networks are not different. Wikipedia too has been used quite often for generating traffic.

    As a side note: I read the CNET article yesterday after reading, I think, Rand’s post at SEOmoz. Apart from the fact that the author has her definitions wrong, she hasn’t written anything so obvious that it should have the blogging world up in the arms. It’s a technology news portal and they could be merely covering an incident. And it’s true spurious methods are used to generate links — happens everywhere.

  9. says

    @zaibatsu – it shouldn’t matter if there are ads or not, that’s why the article is also a joke. If its good content, it’s good content! regardless of what site it’s on and whether or not there are ads on the page.

  10. ah huang says

    The hypocrisies of that article are really absurd. Look at any magazine these days and a large portion of their revenue comes from what I’d call adverticles, supposedly news-worthy articles that are actually paid for by the subject of the article. For instance, Outside ran a group of articles on which Hawaiian island was the best, all written by names in non-fiction. 5x 1200word pieces. A cushy deal for the authors who got a couple weeks stay in Hawaii. All paid for by the Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. And look on MSN or Yahoo. Think Borat deserved so much hype, or Jack Welch’s book on leadership, did that have to make front page news, or probably 80% of what are on portal sites these days? Laughable. Not that I support people taking a good thing like Digg and making it less useful by exploiting it to their own good.

  11. mathijs says

    Brian, care to explain what you mean by your post? I don’t see the problem of the linked article, maybe I’m missing something.

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