Why You Should be Writing a Link Blog

Writing a link blog is more than just killing time. It can do wonders for keeping your blog fresh and even exchanging links.

I see a lot of power bloggers out there on the net that maintain link blogs. I’m sure a lot of you have seen these blog entries that are nothing more than a collection of links with a short blurb.

Maybe it’s because I’m a feed junkie but I find a lot of news that I find interesting but just have no way to turn it into a full blog post without getting boring. How many of you have found something interesting and started writing something only to find out you pretty much said everything you want to say in one paragraph? Happens to me all the time.

With del.icio.us you can set it up to automatically post links at a pre-determined time everyday. You kill two birds with one stone by collecting links to your account and also making a blog post out of those bookmarks.

So here are some benefits of writing a link blog:

1. It helps you from drowning in information

Not only does it give you an outlet but all the links are collected at del.icio.us for future reference. It’ll be a good repository for future material.

2. Helps you maintain posting frequency

Ever feel like you’re having a “no news” day? Lots of stuff going on. Some of it interesting but not enough to write about? Link blogs prevent that from happening. Also, when you stop posting, the intervals keep getting longer. This will keep you in the habit and it’s easy to do.

3. Automatic link love

On WordPress, when you post these links they end up on other WordPress blogs as trackbacks. This is a great way to establish mutual links with each other and also lets the blog being linked that you’re paying attention to them. There’s no additional steps to make this happen, you get it for free by blogging your links.

In fact, some spammers do just that. I’ve noticed some odd incoming links and when I investigate it turns out that someone wrote a script or program that automatically collects interesting links it finds on the web.

You definitely don’t want to be classified as a spammer so here are some guidlines:

1. Be creative with the title and taglines.

Give it personality. Nobody wants to read a collection of plain links. Tell us what it’s about. Be brief but inject it with your own originality.

2. Be selective

Don’t just post anything and everything. Only stuff that’s really interesting or news to you. Otherwise your wasting your reader’s time and ruining your reputation.

In addition to all of the above, link blogs are great for giving you an idea of the person behind the blog. What kind of things matter to them. What news sources they subscribe to. It’ll give you a great insight.

A quick tip

I have separate del.icio.us account solely for my link blog. It keeps it neat and focused. I can reimport them to my main account whenever I want.

So, if you don’t already do a link blog, give it a try. You’ll find a great article showing you how to do it below.

theory.isthereason » From Del.icio.us to WordPress: How to automatically post daily links

Get Your Story on the Digg Front Page: An Offer You Can’t Refuse?

How touching. Someone thinks I’m desperate to get on the front page of Digg. Today I check my WordPress admin’s comment spam box and what do you know? I get an offer too good to refuse. Maybe.

At 20 cents per vote that’s like $10-$20 to get on the Digg front page. Let me think about it.

Hi, nice review! I have a tool to sell/buy votes at all “social voting” sites mentioned above. Only problem is that I need about 50 “paid” links per day to make it running, with this amount of articles I can hire hundreds of people who will vote for you at digg/etc for minimum proce of 20 cents per vote. I also have some measures of protection against digg admins, so my system will not become a honeypot to kill your account. Email me if you want to have a look at it. 🙂

A Cursory Comparison of the Big Three Social Media at Baron VC

Get Your Story on the Digg Front Page: An Offer You Can’t Refuse?

How touching. Someone thinks I’m desperate to get on the front page of Digg. Today I check my WordPress admin’s comment spam box and what do you know? I get an offer too good to refuse. Maybe.

At 20 cents per vote that’s like $10-$20 to get on the Digg front page. Let me think about it.

Hi, nice review! I have a tool to sell/buy votes at all “social voting” sites mentioned above. Only problem is that I need about 50 “paid” links per day to make it running, with this amount of articles I can hire hundreds of people who will vote for you at digg/etc for minimum proce of 20 cents per vote. I also have some measures of protection against digg admins, so my system will not become a honeypot to kill your account. Email me if you want to have a look at it. 🙂

A Cursory Comparison of the Big Three Social Media at Baron VC

links for 2007-02-01

A Cursory Comparison of the Big Three Social Media

Now that I’ve had the time to spend some time experimenting with the various social media sites, I think now is a good time to give it a rest and share some observations on what I learned. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject and I’ve only had real success with one and that was Digg. I’m sure I could do better if I invested the effort but I’ll have to take a more long-term approach.

However, my limited success did give me some insights.

Currently, on the social media scene we have three major players: Digg, Netscape, and Reddit. Although Digg is the biggest and most visible so far, both Netscape and Reddit not only have their strengths but are gaining ground too. One blogger summed it up nicely:



  • reddit: for computer science students

  • digg: for computer science drop-outs

  • Slashdot: for computer science graduates, circa 1980



Kevin Marsh

Here’s my take on the three.

tiny_digg.png

Digg

Overview:
This is the first site to show the real power of social media by mobilizing legions of loyal users that act as both editor and consumer. Many sites that made the front page were put on the map by the surge of traffic and sudden recognition. Users are known to be unruly on the site and off the site.

Demographics:
12 and up

Target Audience:
Anybody from IT professionals to gamers with an attitude.

Traffic:
Like a sugar high. Sometimes sweet to the taste but the empty calories can kill.

System:
A fast-paced cycle of submitting stories and voting (Digging). Submissions consist of a link, title, and blurb. Categories are mostly tech with a recent expansion into other areas (including videos and podcasts).

Voting consists of making “diggs”. There are no negative votes just red flags, disqualification and ultimately banning (much like the yellow card/red card in soccer). Once banished there is no reinstatement although it only takes a malicious minority to accomplish.

Despite some of the algorithmic tweaking, the process of breaking a story is straightforward and 50 plus or minus 10 votes will usually get a story to the front page (with some allowance for velocity) unless buried. Stories under the 200 Digg mark still run the risk of getting buried but beyond that it’s nearly impossible to kill.

There is some rudimentary social networking functions built in that allow you to create a network of friends. However, all direct communication between members take place in the trenches of the comments section for the submissions or even off site.

Self-promotion (real and imagined) of any kind is frowned upon. In such cases, the URL submitted is penalized and not the submitter.

Weaknesses:
Performance has to be the biggest issue. Pages load very slow for certain areas and the submission process hangs occasionally. There are also some concerns about the blogging functionality being used as a foil for spammers.

It’s also easy for a relative newcomer to gain ground quickly. Not sure if it’s a flaw but the power of a front page story might make it a target for gaming.

The aversion held by a disgruntled minority against up and coming sites (especially blogs that are geared toward business or show any kind of initiative in self-promotion), the front page is becoming more and more conservative. To put it another way, it’s quickly becoming a reseller for large media outlets and established blogs (Cnet, Engadget, TechCrunch, etc.). Incidentally, these are probably the only sites with a URL that can’t be easily banned (plus they have direct access to Kevin Rose if it does happen).

Digg remains a very important site for overall TechCrunch traffic.

CrunchNotes » TechCrunch Referral Traffic

The biggest risk is that Digg can easily become a communal feed reader with point-based ranking. Without any fundamental improvements they would run the risk of being overtaken by a similar service that has mass appeal (cool design), low barrier to entry, and better performance (page-loading etc.).

Strengths:
The design is first-class and sets the standard for many startups. The high-paced atmosphere and instant gratification of the site stands out above the rest.

tiny_reddit.png

Reddit

Overview:
Don’t let the fact that it looks like unix terminal message board turn you off. This is the Craig’s List of social news sites. What they lack in design is made up for with simplicity and a sophisticated algorithm to ensure the quality of content.

Demographics:
20s to early 40s

Target Audience:
Well-educated hacker-ish crowd disregard for fanciness.

Traffic:
At one point estimated to be 1/3 of Digg (probably much more now). If the content is good enough, a story can remain on the front page for a full day or more (however, their algorithm also provides users with a front page tailored to their tastes as determined by their system).

Since all the readers only have a title and link to go by, they are more likely to visit your site and digest the content. Unlike Digg’s sugar high, the traffic is more like pasta (complex carbohydrates that deliver a sustained source of energy).

System:

Reddit’s system is probably the most mysterious. They’re similar to Google in that they try to take an algorithmic approach that prevents human tampering or gaming. Another noteworthy feature is that users are not only rating the stories but getting rated themselves with every submission and this builds their karma.

When a particular item is promoted or demoted, the user who posted it is either rewarded or punished—a system of editorial karma. In the same way that popular submissions are voted to the top, the individuals who post them get increases in karma. Every redditor affects one another’s karma equally, regardless of his/her karma. Although democracy isn’t perfect, this experiment should supply the public with the information they demand while also rewarding those who provide it.

reddit.com: what’s new online

All submissions are simply the title and link. There is no blurb so in addition to the content, the title matters more than anything. All the more so because of the spare design (no graphics or user avatars). New submissions by users with low karma fall quicker than those with a high karma.

I’d venture to guess that they’re using a sophisticated Bayes filter for the ranking that scores both users and stories along with other statistical techniques to weed out bad apples. So far as I know they don’t ban or filter any URLs.

Also has a personal messaging system.

Weaknesses:
The spare design is probably a turn off for most casual visitors (but actually a selling point for programming types with an affinity for unix). There seems to be a high barrier to entry in order to become a recognized participant. Of course, this serves to filter out users that don’t fit the community.

It’s probably hard to shake up the ranks of established users so that hinder community growth over the long-term. This is pure speculation.

The biggest drawback is probably the lack of a mass appeal. However, this is also what keeps the community in tact.

Strengths:
Since Reddit takes a sophisticated algorithmic approach, much like Google does with search, the operation is highly scalable, low cost (until recently, three guys with garage startup funding), and the content is more or less fresh. Despite significant growth in recent times, the variety of links found on the front page are quite diverse.

The fact that they are able to maintain quality over growth will probably translate into good long-term prospects because quality is all that counts in the end and it’s trivial for a design guru to come and add some visual love.

tiny_netscape.png

Netscape

Overview:
This is none other than the brainchild of Jason Calcanis during his all too brief stint at AOL. He saw the potential offered by Digg and so rejigged the Netscape.com URL (still a surprisingly high trafficked site after the fall of Netscape the browser for news and web mail) as a social news site.

The most controversial aspect is that he introduced a system of compensation to recruit top contributors to Digg. This also coincided with disillusionment among a small minority of top users with Digg itself.

Netscape tries to balance the dynamics of a social news service with oversight by news savvy moderators (or navigators as they call it) who are paid a modest salary.

As a matter of personal taste, the design (the visuals and not the system) isn’t too inspiring. In fact, it made me misty eyed by reminding me of the good old days when Netscape used to be the number one browser. The color scheme screams early 90s.

It also uses frames on the left-side for viewing submitted sites (you can easily remove it permanently). This took me aback at first (since current designers shy away from it, thinking it’s intrusive) but once you get used to it, it’s actually convenient and keeps on the site.

Demographics:
Probably the most mature of the three.

Target Audience:
People who casually surf the net. Non-early adopter types.

Traffic:
Like Reddit, the traffic is quite sustained over time. Stories gradually work their way up and stay up quite a while. There is a significant boost in RSS subscriptions if a story hits the front page.

System:
According to the faq it is a combination of editorial oversight and user-driven content along with some algorithmic controls. Also has a pretty full-function messaging system.

Weaknesses:
The greatest challenge is probably balancing the amount of editorial control while maintaining an element of excitement. Also the content tends to be more on the conservative side as well. Of all three it is the most editor-driven so there’s probably a lot that weighs on the shoulders of navigators.

Strengths:
Despite the controversy over headhunting prominent Digg users and accusations of being a cheap clone to Digg, the target audience is completely different from Reddit or Digg. It’s more of a traditional news site only with a very high diversity of sources.

The backing of AOL ensures that it will not be going anywhere and that it will continue to be developed actively and scale pretty well. It is driven by passionate news junkies.

The issue of compensation is one of controversy for some but I don’t see the problem with paying people to do work unless the system takes a more algorithmic approach like Reddit. You need to hang on to that talent.

Observations and Stuff

I think the three sites are very well-differentiated. In fact, the emergence of Netscape split people in two camps: that either it will be a miserable failure or that it would leach all of Digg’s best talent. Guess what? All three are prospering.

For the time being Digg rules the roost. Will Netscape or Reddit make inroads into Digg’s market? I doubt it. There is no way any single site be the be all and end all of social news and none of the services are in direct competition.

However, I don’t think Digg’s position is impermeable. They have scaling issues in terms of the system performance (which is quite costly and something some experts think overly so) and probably the most prone to gaming (due to their size and also due to the low barrier to entry). Even today, the front page of Digg is becoming more and more of a link site to established news services and blogs.

The dream social news site would probably be an enticing combination of the three: Digg’s design and low barrier to entry, Reddit’s sophisticated algorithm and low cost infrastructure, and Netscapes revenue-sharing and deep pockets.

The Rise of Social News Arbitrage

I think one thing that will become more and more prevalent (if it isn’t being done on the side already) is a form of social news arbitrage. It already happens organically when a major story hits the web. However, for marketers doing this on behalf of clients they might try a strategy where they try to get on one social news site in the hopes of getting exposure or being legitimized for other sites. Getting featured on one of the social news site is sure to open doors and make it easier for the submitted site to get covered by other big outlets.

The most common pattern I see is, you guessed it, something gets on Digg, then travels to any combination of Slashdot, Reddit, Netscape, BoingBoing, etc.

Another rising star not included in this comparison is StumbleUpon because it’s more of a browser plugin that gives you random links based on voting up or down the sites they throw you (although they do have a nice homepage with interesting info, it’s not a news site per se). This has an even lower barrier to entry and can provide a good source of organic traffic.

So basically, someone with the right focus and skills would be able to launch a site or service out of nowhere and leverage a traffic from one social news site into another.

Although it is ultimately the quality of content offered, many times popularity legitimizes the content. Will social media be able to remain fresh and open when more and more businesses become aware of the gold mine of opportunities presented by social news sites? Will social media sites simply become a cheap source of traffic spikes to established media partners (essentially becoming an unpaid affiliate for larger and more profitable sites and services)?

I think roles and relationships are still evolving. However, in some cases social media sites may be able to strike some kind of a de facto financial partnership by sharing some of the revenue generated by traffic. I think it could work as long as there is no interference in the community.

Oops… (Closure on the Whole Sicc Issue)

Yikes! Man I was on some self-righteous Bob Woodward vibe for a minute. Anyways, the truth emerges. Sicc had already blogged about his strategies behind his rapid success:

1. Add a lot of friends.

2. Get good, unique news sources (even if you have to pay for them)

3. Digg anything and everything your friends submit

4. Submit like crazy.

He also submitted the story to Digg and got it buried too. Damn, that sounds familiar.

Basically, this was my initial strategy except for the third and the fact that I only submit a couple stories.

I don’t Digg everything from my friends and do digg lots of stuff from strangers (that I promptly add as a friend afterwards) because that goes against my values. So is Sicc a spammer? No. Do I owe him an apology for going too far with insinuations and invading his privacy? Yes.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Sicc’s actions are completely ethical even though they don’t violate any specific rule. That’s another debate and it’s not my judgement call one way or the other. It’s food for thought and something for the community to discuss at length if they want to keep Digg a quality place.

The fact is you can easily gain rank in Digg following a few simple steps. I mean even I’m in the top 600 after less than a week of taking a crack at it. I’ve seen some of my stories hit the front page even when they were a bit weak.

However, all that is immaterial. Personally, I owe Sicc an apology but overall I’m hoping that some good comes out of this and we have more meaningful dialogue on how to make Digg better.

Does this make me a “hypocritical gumshoe bastard” like an admiring reader once characterized me? By the way, hello if you’re reading this.

First thing, I had to find some good sources of news. I knew there was no way to get stories on the front page if I couldn’t find very fresh and interesting news stories. That took me maybe 6 hours and I found about 7 places to get good news from that wasn’t overused by other Digg members. A few of the places I had to actually pay for a membership fee.Next thing that I noticed were the little green stripes over the digg count. I figured out that’s what happens when one of your friends has submitted or dugg a story. So instantly I started adding friends, this lasted about 1.5 minutes when I got the “You’re adding friends too quickly” message. So I kind of put that on the back burner for the time being and just added them slowly when I had free time. When I did add them, I would sort the top digg users based on how many stories they dugg, adding the diggers with the most stories dugg to my friends list, figuring the more they digg the better the chances they will also digg my stories.

Next, I started digging stories myself and adding comments to try and make myself known. I spent at least 20 hours scanning the upcoming stories list and digging anything I liked. Some of the stories I read, and some I just judged based on the headline. If I had actually read all 5000+ stories, I’d still be reading lol. I also made sure to digg my friends stories all the time. But sometimes they had submitted something I just couldn’t digg. I’m very pro American, lots of stories on digg tend to have a hint of anti-American tone to them. I usually just skipped over those unless they were very anti-American in which case I would bury the story, friend or no friend. Yea I know, call me crazy, I still give my country the benefit of the doubt and believe we are a good nation. >=]

After befriending people and digging stories, it was time to start submitting stories. So I got started, usually submitting between 15 to 30 stories per day.


Hello =o » Blog Archive » How I made it to the top 100 Digg users and double Diggnation mention in 21 days.

Oops… (Closure on the Whole Sicc Issue)

Yikes! Man I was on some self-righteous Bob Woodward vibe for a minute. Anyways, the truth emerges. Sicc had already blogged about his strategies behind his rapid success:

1. Add a lot of friends.

2. Get good, unique news sources (even if you have to pay for them)

3. Digg anything and everything your friends submit

4. Submit like crazy.

He also submitted the story to Digg and got it buried too. Damn, that sounds familiar.

Basically, this was my initial strategy except for the third and the fact that I only submit a couple stories.

I don’t Digg everything from my friends and do digg lots of stuff from strangers (that I promptly add as a friend afterwards) because that goes against my values. So is Sicc a spammer? No. Do I owe him an apology for going too far with insinuations and invading his privacy? Yes.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Sicc’s actions are completely ethical even though they don’t violate any specific rule. That’s another debate and it’s not my judgement call one way or the other. It’s food for thought and something for the community to discuss at length if they want to keep Digg a quality place.

The fact is you can easily gain rank in Digg following a few simple steps. I mean even I’m in the top 600 after less than a week of taking a crack at it. I’ve seen some of my stories hit the front page even when they were a bit weak.

However, all that is immaterial. Personally, I owe Sicc an apology but overall I’m hoping that some good comes out of this and we have more meaningful dialogue on how to make Digg better.

Does this make me a “hypocritical gumshoe bastard” like an admiring reader once characterized me? By the way, hello if you’re reading this.

First thing, I had to find some good sources of news. I knew there was no way to get stories on the front page if I couldn’t find very fresh and interesting news stories. That took me maybe 6 hours and I found about 7 places to get good news from that wasn’t overused by other Digg members. A few of the places I had to actually pay for a membership fee.Next thing that I noticed were the little green stripes over the digg count. I figured out that’s what happens when one of your friends has submitted or dugg a story. So instantly I started adding friends, this lasted about 1.5 minutes when I got the “You’re adding friends too quickly” message. So I kind of put that on the back burner for the time being and just added them slowly when I had free time. When I did add them, I would sort the top digg users based on how many stories they dugg, adding the diggers with the most stories dugg to my friends list, figuring the more they digg the better the chances they will also digg my stories.

Next, I started digging stories myself and adding comments to try and make myself known. I spent at least 20 hours scanning the upcoming stories list and digging anything I liked. Some of the stories I read, and some I just judged based on the headline. If I had actually read all 5000+ stories, I’d still be reading lol. I also made sure to digg my friends stories all the time. But sometimes they had submitted something I just couldn’t digg. I’m very pro American, lots of stories on digg tend to have a hint of anti-American tone to them. I usually just skipped over those unless they were very anti-American in which case I would bury the story, friend or no friend. Yea I know, call me crazy, I still give my country the benefit of the doubt and believe we are a good nation. >=]

After befriending people and digging stories, it was time to start submitting stories. So I got started, usually submitting between 15 to 30 stories per day.


Hello =o » Blog Archive » How I made it to the top 100 Digg users and double Diggnation mention in 21 days.

links for 2007-01-31

There’s Something Really Really Fishy Going On at Digg(UPDATED)

I’m just going to let it rest after this because I don’t need to waste my time. The only thing I really care to know is:

1. Does the Digg team (as in company) know what’s going on?

2. Does the (real) community care?

First of all, this isn’t a rant against the community or management. I’m just pointing out something that is very very strange that turned into a massive cluster fluck[sic]. When I say fishy I’m talking about a particular user.

Anyways, I did a bunch of follow-ups to my initial story about spammers taking advantage of Digg’s blogging feature. I submitted it to Digg, got flamed and buried for being a self-promoting bastard and called a “hypocritical gumshoe bastard” by an adoring reader (hello if you’re reading this). Not really anything surprising and I’m cool with that (because I was well aware of the risk).

At the same time, I wasn’t about to engage in the futile exercise of trying to raise awareness within Digg for something that could clearly benefit the community and get beat down and even banished to boot. I can only take so much abuse.

However, inquiring minds want to know. So I dug up some dirt on Digg user Sicc’s SEO activities taking advantage of Digg’s blogging features. But aside from putting it on my blog, I pretty much kept it to myself. Apparently some members of the community have read it.

DigiDave, a prominent Digg member, apparently agreed and had the following observation to add:

An overall ranking of 57
Has Dugg 7,427 (NOTE: I’ve been on Digg almost a year and I have 8,041)
Submitted 933 storiesI’ve spoken with Jay Adelson before and one thing he stressed was that Digg is a self-policing community. It relies on individuals being taken to task. Assuming the information on Sicc has been overlooked, I’m going to take this post to put it out there in the open again to let the community come to their own judgments.

These numbers seem off to me. Just looking at his profile it appears that he submits stories in batches (that’s fine) separated by about 2 minutes per submission (hey, I’ll give it to him) every day (sure, why not) 8 times a day (right). In addition to the submissions—he Diggs roughly 165 stories a day, every day. When he is not submitting or Digging—I’m sure he is painstakingly pouring over RSS feeds to find just the right news stories for the Digg community that he loves so dearly.


DigiDave: I’m Gonna Feel Sicc—Is Digg Being Gammed By a New Star User?

If you look at Sicc’s submission pattern, you’ll notice that it happens very quick (like 8 in row separated by 2-4 minutes). If you’ve ever used Digg to submit a story, you’ll also notice that the site is very unresponsive and slow even for submitting stories. So I find it hard to believe that any single individual can maintain this pace.

Well, with such a hot topic, you obviously have a bomb on your hands that will blow up sooner or later. So earlier, we had two stories on Digg covering more or less the same topic, “Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO” and “I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?”.

Both of these got Diggs like crazy but also got buried at just about the right time before they reached critical velocity. I smell a rat.

Despite being buried these stories just refuse to die and still get stray diggs. I think the people who care to read up have enough to be concerned about.

Funny that these submissions die despite the interest of long-time community members who rank very high in the pecking order with a history of contribution.

In one comment, the number 1 digger DigitalGopher weighs in:

I say BS. Once you read the stories via the links posted below by canwediggit and richstyles, there is far too much evidence against sicc’s shady digging habits and his vocation for me to believe that this conversation actually took place. I say it’s a nice fabrication, at best. Nice try sicc, but there’s too much ‘hair’ around your story which makes you less credible at the time being. but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.Oh and as the #1 person on the top user list, I can say for certain that this ‘coreyE1027’ (assuming he exists) has never contacted me about buying my account. You would think that they would at least try to approach the top user.

I even get an honorable mention from the man himself:
Also, people are now going around to blogs and making spam comments and sticking my url as the poster. The whole thing is retarded. It’s probably that baron.vc site doing it.

So at this point all I can say is that whatever Sicc’s original intentions are, they are going fubar on a Titanic scale, so now he’s going to do a smear campaign against me.

However, it does raise some additional questions. Is Sicc an individual or a team? Is that also the only account? It’s also funny that Sicc suddenly stopped using the blog this feature (without any clear explanation).

We do get some enlightenment from the man himself:

I didn’t intend for the post below to be submitted to digg, it was actually made so I could show friends and people I know from digg. I wasn’t even aware that people were reading my blog on a regular basis to be honest. I don’t really have much on it. Maybe once a week I make an original submission with my own content, otherwise it’s just shit form digg that I find interesting.So now, this post is also on digg.

Plus many blog postings about my digg account. What seems to be the issue? Look at the stories I submit, they’re normal stories form major sites. I’m not spamming digg with my own shit, so wtf?

I have submitted deals.tc and a few of my blog postings, but other than that, it’s all stuff from major sites. So why is everyone freaking out? Also, people are going around and making spam comments on peoples blogs with my URL as the submitter. People need to get off my nuts already.


Hello =o » Blog Archive » Jesus…

So, there you have it folks. Quite honestly, I don’t have a personal vendetta against Sicc whether he’s an individual or a group. The fact is he’s submitted a lot of quality stories. No spamming or trolling. In every respect a model citizen. I’m not and never have called for him to be banished. So he used the “blog this” feature for a little SEO. That’s a short-coming in the system and not his fault.

I’m cool with whatever the community and the company is cool with but the word is out. Hat tip to Alister who’s sharp observation put me on the trail for this series.

This is the last word I have to say on this topic regardless of outcome (although I might append an update to this post for the stray visitor).

Digg – Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO

Digg – I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?

Digg’s Blog This Feature is a Haven for Spammers at Baron VC

The Mysterious Trail of Digg User Sicc: An Example of How Digg is Used for Shady Spamming and SEO at Baron VC

Hello =o » Blog Archive » Apparently my digg account is now worth $4,000

Update:

I for one got a satisfactory answer on this. There are some ethical implications but in this case I went a little too far in singling out Sicc.

Oops… (Closure on the Whole Sicc Issue) at Baron VC

There’s Something Really Really Fishy Going On at Digg(UPDATED)

I’m just going to let it rest after this because I don’t need to waste my time. The only thing I really care to know is:

1. Does the Digg team (as in company) know what’s going on?

2. Does the (real) community care?

First of all, this isn’t a rant against the community or management. I’m just pointing out something that is very very strange that turned into a massive cluster fluck[sic]. When I say fishy I’m talking about a particular user.

Anyways, I did a bunch of follow-ups to my initial story about spammers taking advantage of Digg’s blogging feature. I submitted it to Digg, got flamed and buried for being a self-promoting bastard and called a “hypocritical gumshoe bastard” by an adoring reader (hello if you’re reading this). Not really anything surprising and I’m cool with that (because I was well aware of the risk).

At the same time, I wasn’t about to engage in the futile exercise of trying to raise awareness within Digg for something that could clearly benefit the community and get beat down and even banished to boot. I can only take so much abuse.

However, inquiring minds want to know. So I dug up some dirt on Digg user Sicc’s SEO activities taking advantage of Digg’s blogging features. But aside from putting it on my blog, I pretty much kept it to myself. Apparently some members of the community have read it.

DigiDave, a prominent Digg member, apparently agreed and had the following observation to add:

An overall ranking of 57
Has Dugg 7,427 (NOTE: I’ve been on Digg almost a year and I have 8,041)
Submitted 933 storiesI’ve spoken with Jay Adelson before and one thing he stressed was that Digg is a self-policing community. It relies on individuals being taken to task. Assuming the information on Sicc has been overlooked, I’m going to take this post to put it out there in the open again to let the community come to their own judgments.

These numbers seem off to me. Just looking at his profile it appears that he submits stories in batches (that’s fine) separated by about 2 minutes per submission (hey, I’ll give it to him) every day (sure, why not) 8 times a day (right). In addition to the submissions—he Diggs roughly 165 stories a day, every day. When he is not submitting or Digging—I’m sure he is painstakingly pouring over RSS feeds to find just the right news stories for the Digg community that he loves so dearly.


DigiDave: I’m Gonna Feel Sicc—Is Digg Being Gammed By a New Star User?

If you look at Sicc’s submission pattern, you’ll notice that it happens very quick (like 8 in row separated by 2-4 minutes). If you’ve ever used Digg to submit a story, you’ll also notice that the site is very unresponsive and slow even for submitting stories. So I find it hard to believe that any single individual can maintain this pace.

Well, with such a hot topic, you obviously have a bomb on your hands that will blow up sooner or later. So earlier, we had two stories on Digg covering more or less the same topic, “Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO” and “I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?”.

Both of these got Diggs like crazy but also got buried at just about the right time before they reached critical velocity. I smell a rat.

Despite being buried these stories just refuse to die and still get stray diggs. I think the people who care to read up have enough to be concerned about.

Funny that these submissions die despite the interest of long-time community members who rank very high in the pecking order with a history of contribution.

In one comment, the number 1 digger DigitalGopher weighs in:

I say BS. Once you read the stories via the links posted below by canwediggit and richstyles, there is far too much evidence against sicc’s shady digging habits and his vocation for me to believe that this conversation actually took place. I say it’s a nice fabrication, at best. Nice try sicc, but there’s too much ‘hair’ around your story which makes you less credible at the time being. but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.Oh and as the #1 person on the top user list, I can say for certain that this ‘coreyE1027’ (assuming he exists) has never contacted me about buying my account. You would think that they would at least try to approach the top user.

I even get an honorable mention from the man himself:
Also, people are now going around to blogs and making spam comments and sticking my url as the poster. The whole thing is retarded. It’s probably that baron.vc site doing it.

So at this point all I can say is that whatever Sicc’s original intentions are, they are going fubar on a Titanic scale, so now he’s going to do a smear campaign against me.

However, it does raise some additional questions. Is Sicc an individual or a team? Is that also the only account? It’s also funny that Sicc suddenly stopped using the blog this feature (without any clear explanation).

We do get some enlightenment from the man himself:

I didn’t intend for the post below to be submitted to digg, it was actually made so I could show friends and people I know from digg. I wasn’t even aware that people were reading my blog on a regular basis to be honest. I don’t really have much on it. Maybe once a week I make an original submission with my own content, otherwise it’s just shit form digg that I find interesting.So now, this post is also on digg.

Plus many blog postings about my digg account. What seems to be the issue? Look at the stories I submit, they’re normal stories form major sites. I’m not spamming digg with my own shit, so wtf?

I have submitted deals.tc and a few of my blog postings, but other than that, it’s all stuff from major sites. So why is everyone freaking out? Also, people are going around and making spam comments on peoples blogs with my URL as the submitter. People need to get off my nuts already.


Hello =o » Blog Archive » Jesus…

So, there you have it folks. Quite honestly, I don’t have a personal vendetta against Sicc whether he’s an individual or a group. The fact is he’s submitted a lot of quality stories. No spamming or trolling. In every respect a model citizen. I’m not and never have called for him to be banished. So he used the “blog this” feature for a little SEO. That’s a short-coming in the system and not his fault.

I’m cool with whatever the community and the company is cool with but the word is out. Hat tip to Alister who’s sharp observation put me on the trail for this series.

This is the last word I have to say on this topic regardless of outcome (although I might append an update to this post for the stray visitor).

Digg – Top 60 Digg Account Worth $4000 to Some SEO

Digg – I’m Gonna Feel ‘Sicc’ – Is Digg Being Abused?

Digg’s Blog This Feature is a Haven for Spammers at Baron VC

The Mysterious Trail of Digg User Sicc: An Example of How Digg is Used for Shady Spamming and SEO at Baron VC

Hello =o » Blog Archive » Apparently my digg account is now worth $4,000

Update:

I for one got a satisfactory answer on this. There are some ethical implications but in this case I went a little too far in singling out Sicc.

Oops… (Closure on the Whole Sicc Issue) at Baron VC