I Don’t Digg Being Dugg

A search engine marketing friend joked to me one day that I should be “dugg” sometime. I’m sure my friends in marketing would agree with him. I’m also quite sure my friends would think I’m completely insane to not want Digg exposure. I might have appreciated it if someone wasn’t getting hurt because I wrote about them. Someone decided to Digg that post and all hell broke loose.

Since I logged off last night around midnight, 12 hours later, over 23,000 people have been to this blog. The reason is that someone dugg about the post I wrote, where I shared a resource I found useful. That post was “dugg” and the incoming traffic this blog is receiving is to that specific blog post I wrote.

Subsequently, that resource I showed my blog readers in the post I wrote has seen an enormous spike in their traffic. That might be good news for them, if it were not for the comments left at Digg about that resource. Diggers complained about everything from the site design of the site I wrote about, to how stupid I was to write about it at all.

In addition to the negative comments and free for all party over at Digg, I had to close the comments to my own blog post. I’ve never been forced to close comments here before. If you own a blog, you know what this is like. The worst in human behavior comes and sits on your front porch, begging for your attention.

I had joined Digg last year, buying into the hype that this is something we must do in a Web 2.0 world. The belief is that the traffic that comes is great for your marketing efforts. I’ve already written about my dislike for Digg and how some Diggers gang up to get sites banned in industries they don’t like. I seem to be unable to unjoin it.

In a Web 2.0 world, if you participate in it, there are new rules that can take some getting used to. One of them is watching something you write end up being twisted and manipulated into something you never intended or even dreamed of.

Social Commentary, Graffiti Style

Another way of looking at it is this. You take a walk through a park and quietly enjoy it and the experience. Perhaps you will recommend it to someone else. Or, you can visit the park and leave graffiti all over the benches, paths, and toss toilet paper into the tree branches.

This is what people are doing nowadays. The Internet continues to reflect the physical world. No one is held accountable.

So. Which part of this Digg activity am I supposed to be happy about, now that something I wrote has officially been slaughtered there?

Discuss: When Marketing is Unwanted

25 thoughts on “I Don’t Digg Being Dugg

  1. It is disappointing to read about your negative experience with Digg.com and some of their ‘users’.
    The ‘Digg Effect’ has serious issues for the website being Dugg. Foremost is the instant traffic volume, alot of the web hosts are ill-prepared for such volume and some ultimately crash. Secondly, the immaturity of some of the Digg users. Those users have nothing better to do but trash sites with crap comments and to ridicule others for the sake of their own self-importance.
    I’m a regular reader of Digg. I’ve enjoyed the various different websites and topics that would have not been known to me otherwise. However, the comments and overall attitude some users have leave alot to be desired. Those are the ones that need to mature first before powering up the computer – or go back to playing with their G.I. Joes.

  2. I stayed up most of the night watching the incoming traffic and pondering a place that takes something without our permission and throws it out to peanut gallery to be kicked around.

    It reminds me of the high ratings the US show “American Idol” brings in when it launches a new season by presenting people for inspection. No matter who the candidate is, they are commented on, usually with embarressing and hurtful remarks.

    At least they know to expect that and they signed up for it.

    I was called an “asshole” by one of the Diggers for speaking up, but it was perfectly fine for them to trash a site I wrote about?

  3. Hey,

    The other day I followed your link from blog, read your post and bookmarked your site, along with the resource you were writing about.

    Now, I check your site, and am looking forward to other things you -will- write about, with the added fact that I have also browsed through what you’ve already written. It’s hard for me to read extensively on the computer, so I take it in bites.

    But.

    Your updates and commentary regarding the “Digg” community is somehow offensive to me. Which is odd enough, since I take little part in the “Digg Community” other than to digg a story about once every two weeks, barely read comments except to see useful information pertaining to the story, and follow links I find interesting.

    I would say ignore all of those negatives you pointed out – I’m sure you have a lot of people who are going to check out your site after this. The traffic -is- a good thing. Not everyone at Digg wants to just comment and be silly – I actually haven’t even noticed it that much. I disregard that type of thing.

    But regardless, there is one thing you should be happy about as a result of your Digg Experiences – I am a person that’s never come across your blog before, and now I check it out when I can, and am grateful for the link you provided to the resource. If I had stumbled on it by myself, I probably would have passed it over. Your interest in the resource and commentary have enabled me to have another place I can learn more about my craft.

    Best,
    Jon

  4. Welcome Jon. I’m happy you wrote :)
    My concern is for the resource I linked to, and the crushing comments about their website at Digg that followed. I did not Digg my own post, nor did I write for Digg, nor are there even Digg It buttons on this blog. There seemed to be some assumption at Digg that I dugg my own post, for example.

    Based on the Digg comments, I felt the responsible thing for me to do was apologize to the University I wrote about. I don’t know who maintains the resource I wrote about, but Diggers cut them up pretty well. That upset me.

    I think I had a duty to speak up about this.

    My server logs have been and continue to be analyzed for any benefits of the traffic to my site. The vast majority never stayed on my site, but there have been gems, such as yourself, and a few others who stayed long enough to get to know THIS place. For that, and the genuine links I’ve later found today to my blog, I’m happy. Some folks took the time to add their own thoughts, rather than just cut and paste the Digg copy.

    Conversions? From a marketing perspective, my experience has not been as positive as those you may read about. It’s likely good that I do write about this, so as to offer some perspective to those who live and die by Digg and social media marketing.

    Rarely did someone click to something like the forums I own, or the thread we have discussing all of this. Again, the traffic never intended to bother with my blog or anything connected to it, but my server and myself had to struggle with the traffic and comment spam that came.

    And yet, the fact is, of all the Diggs and links into this blog, it is a very small minority that left abusive comments at Digg. When taken as a whole, their involvement was a minor, unfortunate side effect.

    But, must we be forced to tolerate any of it?

    I would shake your hand if I could. It means much that you spoke up :)

  5. I didn’t find your blog through Digg, I found this post via Search Engine Watch’s newsletter. I was curious, so I checked out the resource you posted about.

    I found it valuable enough to bookmark for later use. The fact Digg users chose to trash it simply confirms my impression many members of the Digg community are idiot frat boys who will never grow up. Yes, there are exceptions, but that is the overall impression I have of the community.

    Oh, wait, did I just ruin my chances of having anything with my Internet name on it Dugg? Good; I wouldn’t want that kind of traffic either.

  6. That might sense IF I had submitted by site to Digg or dugg it myself. I didn’t do that. Someone from Digg started all this :)

    Since we already know a little about who Diggers don’t like (SEO’s for example), I wonder what those demographics might be?

  7. Also, only a tiny tiny percentage of people comment on the site that is digged – and they do not represent the tens of thousands that just view and leave quietly.

    By closing comments – the GOOD comments and potentially Good Email and networking contacts was never given a chance to be seen

  8. If you read everything on this that has been published, there were NO good comments at that post. There were hundreds of spam ones. Moderating them was not how I wanted to spend my Saturday. I closed one post, not the entire blog. That is more often the action taken by bloggers who are fed up.

  9. This is getting to be a joke, that site needs to stop being worshiped. After reading your post and John’s at V7 I did a search Digg Sucks and “digg sucks” in google it is not suprising to see how many pages there are.

  10. I support your feelings about the pack of wolves known as “Digg” Kim, great post, I also find it refreshing that you are not afraid to go against popular opinion. Great post!

  11. At the risk of sounding sarcastic, “welcome to the internet?” :)

    As long as an open, public communication system exists where a large number of people can contribute, it’s reasonable to expect there’s potential for similar amounts of traffic, and resulting contributions or feedback – both good, and bad. In my opinion, you have to be open to both: Take the good with the bad.

    I think it’s a compliment to have been mentioned on Digg, as you have likely written or created something that has garnered their interest (the kind or “quality” etc. you may argue, but it’s traffic and a link nonetheless.) Not all sites are as fortunate.

    Digg is also more complimentary than other sites, in my opinion. If you were “targeted” to be roasted for something you wrote by a site like SomethingAwful, for example, I’d say that would be a different story. :) (And mind you, they are quite funny when they choose to be.)

  12. Thanks for the heads up about Digg. I had contemplated joining in, but something stopped me. I find it pretty shocking how badly so many people behave in comments, etc. You are right, what you – and the site you commented on – experienced is the equivalent of vandalism. And vandals should never be rewarded.

    With the new Web 2.0 emphasis on the user experience, this is going to be a wild bronko to ride, and so far, we just have no idea where he’s going.

  13. Kim,

    I absolutely LOVED this posting!

    Hell, if I didn’t know better, I’d have submitted it for a “digg”.

    I myself, recently learned of the power of digging, when our mutual friend, Barry S. (of RB)”digged” a posting I wrote on my blog (www.diamondvues.com).

    Overnight and 1700 diggs later..I got about 45,000 visitors to my blog!!

    Crazy traffic. How it may/may not affect my backlinks and bottom line?

    I guess time will tell.

    Keep up the great work!

    Kindest,

    Judah Gutwein

  14. As an SEO who is in the process of launching my own business, I attended the recent ecomXpo – a great online trade show for our industry – and I listened to what the experts had to say about DIGG. They warned about the possbility of server crashes, but made no mention of the prospect of a site being torn apart by an immature audience.

    I am glad I read your blog so I can proceed with the utmost caution. I was about to recommend DIGG to a client, but now I’m having second thoughts. I too am surprised and disappointed by the immaturity of many Internet users. Even at the Xpo, while the talkers were sometimes of a very high level, the moment people clicked into the “lounge” chat area, the literacy level plummeted to that of 5th graders. It was weird.

  15. This is a very interesting post. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but this has definitely had an effect on my point of view. I suppose the yet untouched industries should be happy that digg as yet has no interest in them.

  16. Just came across another example of people suffering from being Dugg:

    AwkwardTV published an article about their new plug-in:
    http://www.awkwardtv.org/static/45.html?p=45

    and it was “dugg”:
    http://digg.com/apple/YouTube_comes_to_the_Apple_TV

    Now AwkwardTV webmasters claim: “This article has been dugg. Therefor we replaced it with this static page.” The comments on Digg make it a bit clear how desperately they were trying to explain what the application is meant for, probably with no luck.

    Well, looks like being “dugg” is turning into web plague. Valuable content is turned into crap (oops, sorry), after it is dugg!

  17. Thank you for your article.

    Unfortunately, I had an almost
    identical experience over a year
    ago with Digg’s abusive & negative
    user reactions to a post I submitted.

    While my site received a huge influx in traffic, it was not welcomed. From a review of my traffic logs, I noticed one Digg referred visitor even took it on themselves to repeatedly enter negative ratings on my feedback poll in an attempt to simulate 10 respondents.

    After my initial experience with the level of bellicose, profane, & generally unwelcomed behavior exhibited at Digg, I stopped using Digg forever.

  18. I am used to digg every article i write, and i generally get 30-40 diggs but the other day my account got banned for doing nothing.
    I dont understand why digg banned my account, i just posted my stories and not involved in anything spurious.

  19. I really liked this post. I particularly enjoyed the way you liken Digg commenters to graffiti punks, ruining the park for everyone else. I almost said graffiti artists, but those snot nosed commenters don’t deserve the word “artist.”
    I mention, and link to, this post in my daily post on CrookedGremlins.com
    Encourage others to speak out. Vote with your valuable Internet minutes.
    Whoo boy. There’s an idea for the next Web 2.0 company. It takes the aggregate amount of time that a particular page has been viewed and posts it.
    What have I done?

  20. Very interesting story. My blog posts get submitted to Digg and send a few dozen visitors in a month, nothing crazy. The articles aren’t really of a “broad” interest, so I can’t see this kind of thing happening, but it sure is something to think about. I agree with a lot of what you say. I don’t want a bunch of worthless traffic. People at Digg can be complete idiots in the comments, but that happens in a lot of places. Have you seen the trash people post in comments at YouTube? Reading those will really make you question the future of humanity.

  21. The thing you are supposed to be happy about is the publicity, which translates into links and mind share. As in ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’.

    That said – I’m not on Digg and haven’t had Digg traffic, nor do I expect any (I’m not in their niche). I can well imagine the annoyance of totally irrelevant comments on your blog…

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