How To Game Digg — If You Really Want To


At the SMX Social Marketing Expo today, several hundred search marketers sat bolt upright in a session that promised to teach them how to get their message on to Digg, the social news site. Panelists Neil Patel, Chris Winfield, and Tamar Weinberg, offered advice that would seem commonsense to anyone who’s played with the site much:

  • Diggers have ADD — grab their attention with catchy headlines!
  • Diggers hate podcasts but love videos! Use them!
  • Diggers love Apple, Heroes, Ron Paul and Battlestar Galactica. Give them what they want!
  • Diggers hate the RIAA, George Bush and Fox News. Avoid them! Etc.

There was some conflicting advice for the crowd, who were repeatedly told that Diggers don’t want to hear their marketing messages and hate anything that seems like SEO. Patel suggests always using a pseudonym and to mask the origin of your message; Weinberg suggests providing as much contact info as you can on your Digg profile, so that you can get friendly with other Diggers.

Here’s our question: We like Digg, understand its appeal and appreciate the value of Digg for ad-supported sites: Digg and other social news platforms can drive enormous traffic in a short period (over the weekend, Digg-rival Reddit grabbed ahold of a recent Radiohead story we wrote, much to our pleasure). But we’re less convinced that Digg will do many marketers that much good: The more they described the Digg user base, the more that Digg came off as a Lord Of The Flies-like rabble with a handful of users holding metaphorical conchs — i.e., control of Digg’s homepage.

Maybe it’s just the familiarity/contempt thing here, but the panelists themselves didn’t seem to hold the Diggers in high regard. Here’s Winfield’s summation: “A lot of Diggers are, you know — the stereotype is they’re virgins. And they have a lot of aggression towards women.” Marketers – you’ve been warned.

Related: AOL Drops Digg Clone, Revives Old Netscape, Diggers Converge In Midtown For Diggnation Party