Buying Yourself A Front Page Digg
This article over at Wired isn’t so interesting as far as the Digging process goes, however, there is one paragraph that exposes some interesting information: paying to get your story on the Digg front page.
“Four and a half hours later, I was the only person who had dugg my story. That’s when I hired a Digg-gaming service called User/Submitter, or U/S. This enterprise, run by one or more zealously anonymous individuals, advertises that it can help ‘submitters’ get Digg stories noticed by paying ‘users’ to digg them. There’s a $20 sign-up fee and each digg costs $1, which gets split evenly between the service and the digger. U/S refunds money paid for any diggs the submitter doesn’t get in a 48-hour period. I put down $450 for 430 diggs, but wound up getting refunded all but roughly $100 of that.”
Let me just say (and I’m not being smug here) paying $450 to have a digg story hit the front page is laughable. If you really want to get on the front page of digg, here are some hints: come up with a link baity headline like Top Ten Reasons Why Apple Should Hire Paris Hilton! and go from there (feel free to use that headline, if you like).
But the ultimate joke is paying $450 to get the attention of people who overall hate the sneaky tactics of corporations, advertising, and marketing schemes like – paying to get a story on the front page of Digg. Is paying the price to get on the front page worth the risk of being found out and shunned (buried)? Remember PriceRitePhoto?
Paying folks to digg your stories is like a fatblogger buying a fake scale that reports weight minus ten pounds. It might make you feel awesome in the short term, but ultimately, if you haven’t done any work to make your site interesting on its own merits, I’d say it’s a total waste of time (not to mention bandwidth). If there’s no substance on the other side of the link, the Diggers will leave just as quickly as they came.
And then you’re out $450, which could have been better spent learning how to write linkbait, improving your service you’re promoting… or here’s a novel idea: paying a writer to compose interesting, Digg-worthy content for your site or about your service.
If I had $450 bucks to blow on this blog I’d spend on actual content creation: buying stock photography, loading up on movies and CDs to review, maybe a new computer – but certainly not gaming Digg.
I stand by the opinion that people want to “game” when they feel the system is broken. It isn’t. And if you think it is, I believe you don’t understand the whole purpose of Digg to begin with – to find interesting stories amidst all the dreck.
But hey, I don’t understand buying a World of Warcraft character, scamming people on eBay, or buying fake MySpace friends either… so maybe I’m just out of the loop.
Note: It’s worth pointing out, as TechCrunch has, that Wired is owned by Conde Nast recently purchased Reddit – a Digg competitor. I’m doubtful that this article is an attempt to paint Digg in a negative light – because there gamers in every community that gets popular, and this article does a pretty poor job at criticizing Digg – but it’s worth reading to see what you think.
Additional Reading: WebProNews, Geek News Central, Mathew Ingram, Deep Jive Interests, ZDNet.com