Will Work for Diggs

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/10/will-work-for-diggs/

I hit the Digg front page a couple of times and it felt darn good. When I hit it wasn’t because I sent a shout or email to friends asking them to vote. Each time I hit, someone else (someone I didn’t know even) submitted my post and it got lucky. On the occasions I asked for Diggs for what I felt were good articles nothing happened. I stopped asking for Diggs and Stumbles, however, because I feel doing so on a regular basis turns one into a pain in the butt.

It’s no secret how I feel about people who come out of the wordwork to ask for social media loving. With that in mind, I’m sure you can already imagine how I feel about b5Media’s new policy of rewarding bloggers who hit big on Digg.

Actually I learned a little about a new bonus system before the details were announced at TechCrunch because I had the pleasure of chatting with Jeremy Wright and David Peralty in the speaker room at BlogWorld Expo. While we chatted, I agreed with Jeremy that bloggers should receive bonuses for hard work. Indeed, when I have an especially good month at FWJ I share with my bloggers. Also, when I was an editor for LovetoKnow we were allotted a monthly allowance to give bonuses to our bloggers. I feel strongly about rewarding the people who work for me and enjoy calling them out for going on and beyond. I think b5Media got it right when they put a plan in place to award bloggers bonuses in recognition of a good month or good deed.

But (and you knew there’d be a but)

The more I think about giving out bonuses for Diggs the more I’m not so sure it’s a good idea. This could just be my personal feeling but I think by doing so b5 bloggers will write more for the Digg factor and less for their readers. Don’t get me wrong. Linkbait can be fun, but I don’t want to read it every time I visit a blog.

I also feel this will turn many bloggers into social media beggars. More bloggers will be hitting up their buddies, and even people they barely know, for Diggs and Stumbles. Digg lists will be created so everyone can vote on each other and now bloggers will put much of their effort in getting Diggs rather than building community or writing good content.

Rewarding bloggers with bonuses? Good idea. Mad props to Jeremy and the team for looking for a way to give credit where it’s due. Encouraging the almighty Digg? I’m not so confident this is a good idea. Digg traffic is temporary. Instead bonuses should be awarded for community building, quality comments, great content and a good steady rise in traffic.

What do you think? Am I wrong about this? Should bloggers be encouraged to get out the Digg?

Comments

  1. Traffic from multiple sources is best. Putting too much emphasis on just one source is a trap.

  2. Tough call. I get a lot of Digg requests (and I’ve absolutely been known to give them, though not often).

    I have seen a sharp rise in the Digg Lists, groups of people who vote just for the sake of voting each other up. Not fond of that.

    But Digg traffic isn’t necessarily that valuable. I’m of the opinion the better plan is to encourage linkbacks, and the easiest way to start getting those is to start giving them. :-)

  3. @Mike – Right. As Dave Navarro (Does anyone else think “Jane’s Addiction” whenever his name comes up?) said, linkbacks are better than Diggs. Good, quality content is the way to encourage linkbacks and repeat traffic. Don’t get me wrong, getting 30,000 visitors in one day for hitting big on Digg is awesome, but the traffic is fleeting.

  4. I tend to not get a single digg for stories that I pour my heart into, and then the quickie one-off space fillers make the digg (or stumble or /. or whatever) homepage. Don’t know how that works.

    I’ve gotten so I just try to write the most interesting articles I can write and forget about the portals. If I get lucky, I get lucky. I’m not a traffic whore.

  5. @Acid See? That’s your problem. You need to be more of a whore. Just kidding but you do need to hustle a bit to bring in traffic. There are better ways to bring them in than Digg bait, in my not so humble opinion.

    (Glad to see you out in the blogosphere!)

  6. I think it’s a crappy idea for bonuses. Personally I’m not a Digg fan. Digg rights tend to be based on luck (in my experience)or like you said people who beg a lot – and frankly my goal is not to be paid based on my luck or begging skills. Some of the new b5 bonus ideas are good IMO. But the Digg bonus is super lame, and it’s a bonus I won’t be trying for. Plus I’ve always gotten better, more reliable traffic at blogs with SU, links, and list posts than I ever have with Digg.

  7. While there is an inherent risk in folk just running around begging for links:

    1) we patently discourage this: the point is to encourage bloggers to get out “beyond their blog”. Some are simply too insular right now. Anyone who’s actually successful on any social media site (like Mixx, Reddit and, yeah, Digg) will tell you that the success comes from being PART of the community, not just submitting every post.

    2) If folk took this to the extreme and wrote just for Digg, we’d notice, it’d get reflected in their quarterly review and we’d take a really hard look at the blog.

    Ultimately we simply want bloggers to get outside their blog. The “Digg bonus” (as some have started to call it) actually applies to any social media site as well as to being featured on any big blog.

    And the best way for both of those to happen is pretty simple: get involved, reach out, and write the best content possible.

  8. @Jennifer – I agree, I bring in more long term traffic with Stumbles and you know how I feel about lists :). I think if were still a b5 Blogger I’d concentrate on getting in the backlinks and a good steady traffic wise.

    @Jeremy – Thank you for the clarification. People who bug for Diggs all the time is a pet peeve of mine.I’m not saying we shouldn’t help out, but in the blogosphere there’s a fine line between asking for helping and becoming a pain in the butt. As you already know I do think bonuses for bringing in traffic, good content, etc. is a good idea. I do wish more employers would do this.

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