Does Digg Bury The Truth with a Short Lived Growth Pill?

June 29, 2006

Digg does not generate a long tail but a short lived, stubby, stinger.  When your article is “Dugg” by the members of the Digg community it is analogous to having the article’s source emblazoned on a billboard saying “Get off at junction 32 for the BEST blog around!” traffic is whizzing by at 100mph and they either give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to the sign, some of them take the exit, but when they get off the highway, they are usually right back on it, and 100 miles away in no time, never to return.

Digg is a way for someone who is seeking instant gratification to receive it, providing their headline is compelling enough.  If you write a catchy headline, usually you will receive heaps of traffic; few will actually stay long enough to comment.  When you examine the typical Digg user’s comments they are usually harsh, non-measured responses that are irrelevant, scathing, and in some cases downright stupid.  There are some exceptions, but they are rare. To see this phenomenon in effect check out the Digg.com articles at any time, and examine some of the comments.

What Good is Digg to Your Long Tail?

Digg is useful on an intermittent basis to the development of your long tail.  You will almost always notice a massive increase of traffic when an article or website is Dugg, you may note however that very few of those people are actually going to come back, as stated earlier,  they will be 100 virtual, or maybe linden miles away, right after they give the thumbs up or down.

The Blogosphere’s opinion of Digg is mixed.  Most will say that it is a momentary solution for a traffic boost and for some excellent exposure. Many bloggers have talked about this, for example, the article about “Obligatory Non Conformism” written by an avid blogger who has seen the effects of Digg on the author. Or the article that is currently the number one blog on WordPress, “For Great Justice, Remove Every Digg” 

What do I do next?” “How am I going to top this article?”  This simple question is massive to those who have had massive, sudden exposure from Digg.

It is the opinion of this author, as someone who has experienced this very phenomenon, that the short lived growth pill that is a highly Dugg article is exciting, and gratifying. But the question of ‘What do I do now?” will be left behind every time.  It is better to achieve blogging “superstardom” by others discovering your work and passing it on through word of mouth, recommendation by fellow bloggers, and if you are very lucky, someone like a producer or publisher noticing your earnest attempts at analytical writing.

Digg is at the top of the charts right now, “Digg.com is among the top 1000 sites on the web — in any category — according to Amazon’s Alexa metrics.” and they have a better “standing” than Slashdot on ranking websites such as Alexa.  But, will Digg continue in it’s present standing? As with all popular websites it can be viewed as a fad or momentary interest to the public at large.  Having your article on Digg’s homepage and having your website slammed with Diggers for two days may place you at the top of your Blogging service of choice, or in some of the most active sites, but it still leaves you with the problem of having to clean up after the fame, and that, as you can see, is not an easy task.

5 Responses to “Does Digg Bury The Truth with a Short Lived Growth Pill?”

  1. Justin Says:

    Wow a very interesting look at the conceptual model of digg. The answer to your post title? Yes, i think it really does. One minute you could have a story on digg from your blog for example and getting tons of traffic, the next minute your hits go down the metephorical toilet of doom.

    A really great post, I always love stopping by. You write really interesting stuff. Good job.


  2. Thanks Justin! That means alot. yeah, I experienced the Digg “attack” and am now regrouping and building my lines! Thanks for returning to the blog, it is much apreciated! -Sebastian

  3. engtech Says:

    Hi Seb,

    Here’s my two parter on my traffic stats when I got dugg.

    week 1
    week 2

    What’s interesting is that was a month ago and I’m *still* seeing people coming in from the Digg link (presumably from it coming up high on search results).

    Getting Dugg is only useful as a long tail if it builds back-links. After the Digg I went from Technorati rank 35,000 to 15,000. But in terms of driving traffic to the blog, it pretty much only comes from major bloggers.

    Most blogs have such a small readership that you would need 1000s upon 1000s of them linking to you in order to have a nearly the same effect as getting on lifehacker.com or Download Squad.

    The other problem with blog back-links is that they are so time sensitive. With almost all blogs once content is more than two months old it is dead to the world — unless the blogger does a good job of resurrecting it.


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