Is It Time for Digg To Man Up?
Social media messiah Kevin Rose and his army of nerds over at Digg need to read this article, and this site, and man up.
Most people reading this will know what Digg is. Just A Guy Thing has achieved a considerable amount of growth due to articles reaching the front page of the behemoth social media site. It's fair to say that we appreciate Digg and the community for allowing our site to grow at such an impressive rate. That said, Digg really needs to man up. Soon.
It was brought to our attention a while back that another guy related site, The Art Of Manliness, was struggling to gain traction on Digg after a number of successful front pages. As I write this at the moment, they have an article on Digg which has been Dugg over 50 times. The article should be on the upcoming list for it's given category but it's nowhere to be found.
We have also experienced this phenomenon with our last few articles receiving enough votes to be, at the very least, at the top of the upcoming list for their categories. These articles were submitted by some of the so-called power users with a high rate of success for submissions hitting the homepage. So what is the problem?
The dreaded Digg auto-bury function
It has long been rumored that the almighty Digg have an internal bury list that effectively removes any chance of a site being promoted to the home page. Once you're on this list, no amount of Diggs, praying to God or Kevin Rose will make the article popular.
A number of other high-profile sites such as CopyBlogger have also found themselves on this list. Of course, there are ways to beat the auto-bury algorithm, but in reality is it worth the effort to game them? Brian Clark said it best in his subtly titled article, Ding Dong Digg Is Dead:
Ironically, I was buried by success. In September, my content made the Digg front page six times, with three articles making it in a single week. After that, it became obvious that Kevin Rose and his in-house nerd brigade couldn?t tolerate quality content making the Digg home page that frequently.
It's true that all things come to an end, but the reality is that Digg is effectively censoring content based on their own opinions. Both Just A Guy Thing and The Art Of Manliness reached a much bigger audience than they normally would which, for the most part, received the content very well. Of course you'll get the trolls complaining about how "you can't learn to be a man by reading an article online" but both sites received many constructive comments and a great deal of subscribers as a result.
So a site that becomes popular is instantly banned, despite the fact that the banned site could in fact produce high-quality articles on a regular basis? Time to man up, Mr Rose.
Now, we're pretty laid-back and easy going guys here at Just A Guy Thing. We enjoy camaraderie with our fellow men and, occasionally, we might lay a bit of advice their way. Here are two vital pieces of advice to all those strapping blokes over at Digg HQ (including Kevin Rose).
How Kevin Rose and the Digg staff can man themselves up
- Well first of all, you guys can have the backbone and the balls to admit there is an auto-bury list blocking sites from reaching your audience. We asked Patrick Altoft from the SEO consulting site BlogStorm about his opinion on the matter and he had this to say:
I think that they should at the very least admit that there is an auto bury list, even if they don't publicly name the sites that are on it. Digg is assuming a Google like stance regarding the algorithm and that's fine but they use human editing to decide which sites to exclude.
Using a closed human edited system is totally against the Digg ethos and is something that the wider community should be made aware of.
Precisely. If Digg intends to hand edit their site then the community should know. If a site can be denied the opportunity to reach the front page, then logic would suggest that the system can also be manipulated so that certain sites or submissions from certain people go popular. Like this, for example:
- Release some bury data, fellas. As Michael Gray says:
The Digg administration will continue to hide behind the guise of user moderated democracy, however with lack of voting transparency (yes buries are votes and need to be transparent) what we really have is an
oligarchyochlocracy of web 2.0 knoblemen.
Although Kevin Rose will continue to pass off the excuse that they don't release bury information "For the same reason that we don?t expose all of our back-end methodologies for the Digg promotional algorithm, we also don?t expose the details of how the burying algorithm works." we all know that is B.S, Kev. You publicly display the articles that members Digg and anyone visiting the site can see what stories a particular member submitted, Dugg, or commented on. Does this mean that everyone knows the hidden workings of your promotion algorithm? Nope. Man up and release the information already.
101% Popular Ratio. Really?
Now don't think that we are merely bashing Digg because our content is blacklisted by the ?ber-nerd created auto bury list. We're man enough to accept our fate and move on from it. We will continue to use Digg as a source of inspiration, entertainment and amusement. Our only aim is to show Digg that honesty, integrity and openness are manly virtues that they should adopt immediately before they alienate the very people that helped get them to where they are today. And that message is one that can never be buried.
If you've got a few ideas about how Digg can man themselves to improve their user experience, or you just want to bash them openly for banning your site and depriving you of hundreds of thousands of visitors, then please drop your thoughts in the comments below.