How might AOL (TWX) build buzz around Propeller, its uninspired Digg clone? By offering publishers the equivalent of crack cocaine: A potential link on the AOL homepage, which delivers a euphoric but temporary rush of traffic. From TechCrunch’s report on AOL’s Propeller relaunch:
Taking a page from the Yahoo Buzz playbook, headlines from the service will also be integrated directly into AOL and AOL News.
GigaOM recently documented the dramatic traffic leap that comes with a link from Yahoo’s homepage via Yahoo Buzz, Yahoo’s Digg clone. The Yahoo homepage is the Holy Grail of Web publishers, but only a few publications that have relationships with Yahoo get a shot at it. Buzz opens the door, at least in theory, to the unwashed masses.
Will Propeller be as successful — and like Yahoo Buzz, get a “Prop It!” spot on virtually every tech and news blog? Too early to tell, of course, but anecdotally at least, we can attest that even a secondhand link from the AOL homepage — via some non-Engadget tech blog that no one in the Techmeme world pays attention to — generates some serious pageviews. Sign us up, please.