Apparently there is uproar about the “discovery” that people are getting their friends and cow-orkers to Digg their stories. Whoah, stop the press!
Even worse (!), Weblogs Inc, owner of Netscape, an alleged Digg-clone no less, has been accused of using this exact tactic to boost their own stories!
Even even worse (!!), there are secret cabal email lists with the aim to share links and get certain Diggers submissions pushed to the front page.
Oh my days what is the world coming to, people gaming Digg in an organised fashion. OMG, WTF, YMMV etc.
Urm, apparently this is new to some people. Really.
Personally, perhaps it’s just how my brain is wired up, but I connected the dots between “Digg popular = traffic”, “lots of friends = lots of diggs” pretty much right away. But is it worth the backlash doing it so blatantly? I know kids with 1000 friends on MySpace, how easy would it be for them to do?
It turns out the shock isn’t so much that people are doing this, which is a given in such a system, but that people are doing it to subvert the “editorial content” of Digg. The theory goes that it’s ok for people to do this to get spam out there and popular, but when people do it for political reasons then it really gets sleazy. I can see that. Seems when you step over the line from greed to a political agenda, that is when it gets nasty.
I think people are forgetting something though, Digg just suggests “stuff” you might want to go look at. The comments give you another level of filter “obvious spam” is a popular comment. So for someone to take a Digg seriously they are going to have to also game the comments too. A little bit extra work. But you know what? If you are not interested “Austrian Economics” it will take a heck of a lot more than “It’s really good, no really!” 200x to change your mind. Seems to me all they are succeeding in is taking over the front page and painting a big red target on the site and the digg user accounts for future filtering.
What do you think? Do you do this? Would you? Heh, are you going to now that I have alerted you to it? Share your thoughts in the comments …