How To Effectively Utilize Digg Shouts 101

Posted Jun 28, 2008

When Digg first introduced shouting capabilities, I ruled it out as a stupid feature because I thought it was nothing but e-mail spam.  In many circumstances it is still spam, depending on the users that you allow shouts from.  But now I have realized that shouts have value to them.

Eye-For-An-Eye / Frienemies
I treat digg shouts as an eye-for-an-eye system.  If you digg my interesting stories, I digg back your interesting stories.  Simple as that.  Now you have to be careful with who you add as friends.  I’ll call the bad friends “frienemies.”  Frienemies are the ones that send you shouts in your inbox and you digg the interesting stories that they send, but they don’t reciprocate.  You have to become skillful at identifying who the frienemies are right away and remove them from your friends list.

This can be monitored after submitting articles and finding out which of your friends dugg your story and which of your friends have not within 48 hours.

Remove Inactive Friends
Digg maximizes your friend list to about 1,000 so make sure you have a good set of about 200 that accept shouts.  Identify which of your friends have not been active recently and remove them as friends.  Having Digg friends that never use the site on your list doesn’t make sense.

The best way to find out who isn’t active on Digg is to View all of your friends and clicking on the last page after filtering out the friends by recently active.  Remove the friends on the last pages of your list in the Friends Activity tab.

With Great Digg Power – Comes Great Digg Responsibility
Many Digg users abuse the system once they figure out how to utilize shouts.  They’ll push their own site by submitting articles linking to their own personal blogs constantly.  Then they’ll shout the same article to their friends 5-6 times per day.  Monitor this trend and remove those individuals immediately.  They are just polluting the system.

Submitting your own blog posts once in a while is okay as long as the content is good and credible.  Many people even hire top Diggers to submit stories for a price regardless of the content.  This could bite those top Diggers in the ass later.  Some Digg users revolted against MrBabyMan in the comments of the stories he submitted because they believed his submission of articles were influenced by money.  I don’t know much about that, but TechBlorge has more details.  MrBabyMan almost quit the site because of the revolt even though he used Digg for years.

What makes Digg great is that it levels the playing field between mainstream news and blogs. TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, and Pulse 2.0, etc. would be nobodies without the help of Digg when compared to mainstream news.  If low-quality bloggers continue to abuse the system by submitting only their own low-quality articles and then pushing other users to digg them, it makes all other bloggers look bad.  If you submit something, make sure it’s good and tasteful.

Title & Content Is Everything / Listen To The Community
If you haven’t noticed by now, a majority of Digg users loves top lists, Apple, Kevin Rose, gadgets, and interesting videos/pictures.  The title that you submit is similar to pitching a startup idea.  If it sounds interesting, then you’ll instantly get tons of Diggs after shouting.  Once you land on the homepage, pay attention to the comments.

This past week, I submitted an article from ReadWriteWeb that read as “BREAKING: Amazon Invests In Twitter.”  The story received over 1700 diggs, but one of the comments stated, “dugg down for BREAKING.”  Now I know not to use the word BREAKING because I learned that the turnaround time between submitting an article and getting on the homepage is generally about 15-20 hours so the news is no longer “breaking” once it hits the homepage.  I started making sure not to use the BREAKING anymore because I know how to embrace the comments.

Attention To Shouts In Your Inbox
As you start building credibility on Digg, people will add you as friends and send you shouts.  Once people realize that you are trustworthy for Digging their quality content, you’ll get about 60-100 shouts in your inbox per day.  Pay attention to these shouts, do not mass delete them.   Sometimes the stories you receive in your inbox is worth sharing with your friends.  And as soon as other Digg users find out that you are not helping them out, they’ll stop helping you out in sharing your stories.

These are some of the tips I have to offer as I’ve started embracing Digg shouts this past week.  If you have any further tips, please contribute in the comments and I’ll add them to this article.

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