If you’re a Digger, then there’s a good chance that you’re probably among the majority who have never seen one of their submissions hit the first page, let alone the top 10. If you have seen your submissions made popular, then you can probably relate to that giddy little sense of excitement you feel when your story’s Digg count explodes after reaching the first page. My latest submission to be made popular didn’t just hit the front page, it hit the top 10, shot to the top and stayed there for most of the first 12 hours it was popular.
So why did my submission get so popular so quickly?
If it’s an interesting submission it will get Dugg. If it’s interesting to enough people, it will be made popular. My friends list or shouts didn’t have anything to do with this story… I didn’t send any shouts and my Digg friends didn’t get around to digging it until after it hit the first page. I’ve also submitted stories that I thought would hit the first page and didn’t go anywhere, as well as stories that I didn’t think much of that hit the first page. Some stories I shouted to my friends list, others I didn’t… there was never really an indication as to what I was doing right except for submitting something that I thought was cool.
This is a testament to the diversity aspect of Digg’s algorithm that Kevin Rose talked about in the first Digg town hall meeting a few weeks back. If you get a bunch of your friends to digg a story en masse (assuming you have similar interests), that could get it some attention, but it probably won’t stick around in the upcoming section for too long, and it probably won’t push it to the hot list any faster. Similarly as we see in politically controversial topics, getting a bunch of your friends to mercilessly bury a story you all don’t like probably won’t affect its chances of being made popular if there is enough diversity among the people who are digging it. Think you’ve got your bases covered and can work around the diversity algo? Think again. Rose also let us know that Digg’s algorithm is constantly changing. Good luck spammers.
Could the time and day I submitted it have anything to do with it going popular? Some think so… I think there’s an element of chance involved. We don’t know the details of Digg’s algorithm. All we know is what Kevin Rose hints at, and what behavior is expected of a Digg user; not spamming, submitting interesting content and participating. So, to sum it up; My post made #1 because it was cool. If you want to hit Digg’s first page, submit things you think are cool and let the Digg community decide if it deserves the honor.
My latest Digg Success Story The $5 Bill from 1896
It was a weeknight and, as usual, I was burning time on the internet instead of tackling household responsibilities. I came across a page about the new US $5 Bill that’s about to be rolled out, and that’s where I found examples of previous $5 bills that were largely unimpressive, except for the one you see above. Dugg.
I’m not exceptionally witty and I personally hate Digg titles like “OMG COOLEST BILL EVER!” so I chose a simple and concise title that I thought spoke to the point: “$5 Bill from 1896”. Description? I copied and pasted one from Wikipedia and added little of my own input; “…looks pretty wicked”. Sure, it got a couple of diggs right away, nothing to get too excited about, so I dugg on and went to bed a few hours later. The next day at work I checked Digg’s front page [sorry boss] to find that my submission was the 5th most popular in all topics. An hour later it was #1, and stayed there all day long.
Here are a few things that I think I had going for me with this one;
-Timeliness. The new US $5 bill just came out and was making a little stir on Digg/Reddit and elsewhere, so I imagine in light of the release of the new bill, there was some interest in how the same currency used to look.
-The $5 bill from 1896 looked cool as hell.
-It was patriotic. The largely American user base of Digg is passionate about US politics and frustrated with the current state of the country and economy. As one digger put it: “Five silver dollars… back from the days when US currency was backed with gold and silver instead of some big mouth with access to our printing press.” … that comment got 576 diggs.