Who wants to be a social media whore?

Matt Bailey has a really interesting article comparing the quality of traffic from various sources including Digg. The picture doesn’t bode well for Digg users. The traffic turned out to be low quality in more ways than one. Not only did it place high loads on the server but readers hardly sticked around or simply left nasty comments. To add insult to injury, some sites then got subsequently banned from Digg.

This reminded me of a joke my political science professor told us about a genie granting the president of Poland three wishes.

What did the president wish for? He wished the Huns would invade Poland, knowing they would plunder the country and rape all the women. In fact, he made the same wish three times. Why? Because then the Huns would pass through Russia a total of 6 times!

This joke seems to sum up how some feel about Digg when you read articles like I Don’t Digg Being Dugg and Digg Scares Me it’s clear that some people equate Digg users with the Huns.

However, Matt doesn’t take into account a site’s target audience. For example, Knuttz and John Chow are two famous sites that were taken out of obscurity by Digg exposure.

chow_knuttz.png

John Chow had a year of consistent posting behind him before several consecutive Digg front page stories boosted his traffic. After being banned from Digg he made around $2800 for the month of December off of ads on his blog.

Knuttz is focused on unusual pictures and images scrounged from the web while John Chow is focused on easy to digest and entertaining stories about anything be it making money from blogs, trade shows, unusual stuff, or web trends. Both sites clearly fit the demographic of Digg and provide content that the average Digg user enjoys reading: something short and sweet.

Most of the sites that suffer from Digg are blogs that are trying to establish ongoing dialogue with their readers. The authors are more interested at developing ideas and sharing them with people that come across from organic channels.

The thing is, you can be happily writing away in obscurity but you can never predict when these social media sites will strike. It takes very little to submit a story you come across. In fact, an interesting story from an obscure site is prime bait for submitters to gain recognition for finding good stuff.

We’ll have to see if the current policy of banning sites that aim to exploit Digg (or are perceived to) and sites with quality content spurning Digg drag things into mediocrity.

However, it does seem that sites with the best results are sites that get repeated Diggs. Whether it’s becoming a made for Digg site or building a Digg culture it’s more or less up to the site owner to decide what kind of relationship they want to these social media sites.  The problem is success with targetting social media sites like Digg can increase your chances of getting banned by drawing too much attention against accusations of gaming the service.

Building traffic to a site has always been a longer, invested approach. Marketing has always taken more than a single channel to build a good brand, customer base, site links, content, and a business. Online marketing is no different. As a point of clarification, this article is directly related to using the social bookmark sites as a method of building links and traffic, not to sites that are using social media to create engagement for their own user base. That is a different matter entirely.

SiteLogic – Marketing Logic » Social Media – Under the Microscope by Matt Bailey

Cre8pc on Usability & Holistic SEO I Don’t Digg Being Dugg »

Digg Scares Me (403 Go Away!)

How to Build a ‘Digg Culture’ on your Blog

Categories: web