At least for Copyblogger, that is.
It’s been a good run. From last fall, I’ve grown this blog from 6,000 subscribers to close to 29,000. My strategy for 2007 relied on appealing to social media news and bookmarking sites using the copywriting techniques I teach here, plus the goodwill of bloggers around the world who thought my content was worth mentioning.
Digg certainly played a part in that. Mostly, landing on the Digg front page a couple times a month resulted only in a server-shaking stampede of worthless traffic. But mixed in with the basement-dwelling little boys who momentarily refrained from Playstationing with their Wiis long enough to tell me I sucked, I picked up new subscribers.
After a scientifically-sound amount of testing, it’s clear that Copyblogger has been placed on the dreaded Digg auto-bury list. Never heard of that? That’s because Digg refuses to acknowledge that auto-bury exists, but it most certainly does.
Ironically, I was buried by success. In September, my content made the Digg front page six times, with three articles making it in a single week. After that, it became obvious that Kevin Rose and his in-house nerd brigade couldn’t tolerate quality content making the Digg home page that frequently.
After all, what would Ron Paul think?
If you think I’m whining, I’m not. All good things must come to an end.
But all you social media utopians out there, pay heed. Social media is a reflection of society. Dorks like Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Rose are not about openness and idealism, no matter what load they shovel to the masses. They’re just like anyone else—susceptible to the corrupting influence of quick and unchecked power.
In fact, they may be worse than most people. The tortured nerd seems to exact terrible retribution, no?
Throughout all the Web 2.0 hoopla that made Michael Arrington rich and no one else, there is one bright spot. There’s one amazing force that is actually changing the world for the better.
Human nature won’t change. But for the first time in history, the rest of us have the collective ability to point out the bullshit and hold people and companies accountable, thanks to our blogs.
Like right now.
Reader Comments (201)
I’ve been saying there’s an auto bury job that ‘s been running for quite some time. Sad you made your way onto it, but maybe other people will listen now.
Brian Clark says
Yeah, well, people should listen to a lot more of what you say. I do.
Dustin Brewer says
haha, great post. I stopped going to digg for awhile now. I haven’t been able to find any really good content on there for awhile. It is all mostly random images and crap now it seems.
Ron's SEO Copywriting Blog says
Yes, this type of fast-up-fast-down sites already end up nowhere most of the time.
The Problem I find with Digg is that if you don’t have a legion of Friends to digg your stuff, you’re articles get swamped by the torrent of stuff/crap that is constantly being submitted.
Todd Carpenter says
Digg, Facebook, MySpace… They’re all the same. Joining a social network means contributing to somebody else’s baby. I’m not saying there’s not an argument for doing so, but the best place to network and express your ideas is on your own blog.
James W. says
Congratulations for finally realizing Digg is not worth it, just like devoting all your time to SEO and worrying about PageRank isn’t worth it. It’s sad you’re on auto-bury but truth be told, all the good stuff never makes front page anyway. We’re not all genuflecting over the same stuff all the time (apple, Ubuntu, Steve Jobs, hating on Microsoft, how evil Google is, Ron Paul, etc. etc.), some of us like real content.
I’ll admit I believe I found this blog from Digg (although, I’m willing to bet money that it was from RW/W) in the massive 5% of cruft posted there I actually skim through.
Keep up the awesomeness, Brian. Social media is socially braindead.
Kevin @ Change Your Tree says
I feel you. I hate DIGG as well.
Glad you said good riddence. I don’t even give people the option of digging my posts–I hate them big time.
Hopefully people will listen this time because this has been happening for quite some time. Even as far back as January 2006.
I used to frequently get content from my website on the Front Page and get a large amount of diggs 1000+ (which was very high at the time for a top story). Then stuff would just get auto-buried. It’s unfortunate but I’ve moved on long since then … and perhaps further away from Digg as well…
Martin Neumann says
Not really surprised to find out Digg doing this – we’re suckered into believing into all of this openness BS when it’s more walled-in that we think …
Oh and BTW , I haven’t checked out Digg in months now and I don’t think I’ve missed anything.
Good points. Sorry to hear that some “old media” practices have infected the blogsphere. This sounds essentially like a new type of gatekeeper under the guise of social media. Word of mouth still rules — true word of mouth, person-to-person, friend-to-friend.
Tiffany Monhollon says
I was a pretty early adopter as far as Digg was concerned, but I haven’t really even visited in probably a year. And I never really incorporated it into my blogging formula, so either way, as a blogger or a reader, it’s not something I seem to miss much. Which sort of is sad, I guess, because I believed in it so much early on.
I really resonate with the end of this post, too.
Jason Falls says
Bravo. I’m standing and clapping. (More about the blogs part than the Digg part, but the Digg part is awesome as well.) Screw them for screwing you. Soon they’ll have some former employees who will admit the auto bury part and we’ll all have verification. But kudos to you for tossing it out there.
very interesting. i know some other sites that are auto-buried too (we probably know the same ones), so we know it exists. so absurd that the quality content is not accepted while there’s stuff from BS like Break.com and TwoVikings.com hitting it every day. ridiculous.
Cynthia Morris says
Whoa. What a great lesson in new media copywriting: voice, opinion, taking a controversial stand that honors what’s true for the writer. I can hear it dripping off the screen. Right or wrong, thanks for modeling standing by what’s right and true for you.
Blog on Brian! 🙂
Guy Maltais says
Brian… Thank you for letting us know. It really is encouraging to know that Blogging will stand the test of time. The more we pour out the more people will listen. Blogging is definitely and marathon that’s for sure.
Roberta Murphy says
Fortunately I am a subscriber to your site and don’t rely on Digg or other social media to find your material.
In fact, I first discovered Copyblogger a year or so ago– not through internet social networking, but through a phone conversation with my other blogging guru.
The buzz will keep you going.
Steven Bradley says
Sorry to hear Brian, but I guess it’s hard to complain given the way things have gone to this point. All good things…
Of course you’re past the point where you need Digg. I’ve been watching the subscriber count go up for a long time and I think there are enough of us now actively linking and recommending you to keep those numbers going up.
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. This is the best post I think and it speaks for lots of us. That’s why I can’t help commenting here this time. Those dorks are going to far and it’s about time to bury them.
Personal Development for the Book Smart says
You can still rely on stumbleupon traffic. They are pretty consistent and over the long run, may outperform diggs.
Latarsha Lytle says
Sad to hear. But shows us the limitations of social media.
It really just goes to reinforce one of your earlier blogs which addressed the shortcomings of relying on social media.
I’m glad that you still have your own independent platform that your fans can still hear your voice.
And to echo SuzyQ:
“Blog On Brian”
Thanks for your hard work!
Robert Phillips says
Interesting. I just started reading “Clash of the Titans” It’s about Ted Turner vs Rupert Murdoch and the enormous influence they have over what we watch. Sounds like the same thing is happening online which is not surprising really. Fortunately individual blogs aren’t censored yet. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences.
Melissa Donovan says
I know that many bloggers have enjoyed a lot of success because of these social networking and bookmarking sites. I get tons of traffic from StumbleUpon.
I do not like the idea of such sites limiting the users’ ability to make choices and recommendations. It reeks of censorship, an issue which I wrote about on my own blog just today.
Anyway, your post made me laugh, and that’s a good thing.
Russell Page says
Finally someone with a loud voice (read: a large audience) came out and said it.
I think in any social media, once it gets big, becomes a little bit like dictatorship and once something was member-driven and member-content-driven, gets heavily edited to sell itself for a final big paycheck. I belong to several social media groups for my field (real estate, I style & stage homes for sale) and have been seeing it happening. In the beginning the content was great, now the real-gem contents are buried by tons of random and fluffy blogs to gain points. Bummer!
I personally don’t use digg very frequently, I think it’s really about how many friends you have on digg who will vote for you. (oh, high school flashbacks?) Plus, there are just too many social media groups to be part of. It’s getting hard to keep track of them all…
Dan and Jennifer says
“Ironically, I was buried by success. In September, my content made the Digg front page six times, with three articles making it in a single week.”
– That’s a sad statement on how fast Digg is losing credibility, censoring it’s community. We feel for you on that point, we had the same happen with AskDanAndJennifer.com recently.
Back in September/October we had a number of stories not only get to the home page, but get 700+ diggs. Sure some people like to argue that your friends and readers will digg your stuff on occasion, but that’s bogus in the end. Fact is you don’t get that kind of vote numbers unless you put out something people find interesting and useful to some degree, a.k.a. “good quality stuff”.
But sometime in November I think we made it to the magical (and non existent) auto-bury list.
The dirty thing here is that Digg does silent censorship, both internally and on behalf of some of the old guard diggers. It’s not only undemocratic, but dirty, since it’s hidden and has no accountability.
If people like a story, they give it a digg/vote. Great. How about this – you don’t like it, you get to remove a point, not “BURY”. The whole “un-voting” concept is undemocratic to begin with, but giving a small few the ability to censor the whole community is stupid, and ultimately bad for Digg.
Maybe Digg will regain some credibility when they get bought out (if that happens) and somebody with a fresh perspective decides to put in transparency.
Look at Netscape/Propeller – you can see who voted a story up, and who voted it down. Let’s see a list ON EACH STORY of who votes up and who votes down.
Want to vote, great – your name goes on that list. Want to “un-vote”? Maybe you could instead vote for stuff you DO like? But if you must poo-pooh something, then stand behind your “vote” and put your name on the other list, for everyone to see.
A little transparency and accountability has historically done wonders to weed out corruption and other funky stuff in human organizations.
Not this “well five people thought it should be buried, but nobody knows who they are” – crap. That’s good-old fascist censorship behind the scenes; it’s ugly, it’s dirty, and it smells from a mile away. And it costs Digg credibility when quality content gets “buried” consistently and people give up on Digg.
“… mixed in with the basement-dwelling little boys who momentarily refrained from Playstationing with their Wiis long enough to tell me I sucked, I picked up new subscribers.”
– OK, all this stuff about true openness and hypocrisy aside, the quality of comments on Digg in general leaves much to be desired. The momentary visibility is great, but damn – we have around 100 videos on YouTube, and we get much more intelligent comments there (on average anyway). 🙂
Oh well, more fun to be had. Blogs have indeed really changed the playing field.
Have an awesome day!
Dan & Jennifer
How does Cracked avoid the auto-bury feature? They literally make the front page every single week day.
I definitely believe that auto burying exists, I just don’t understand why it happens selectively.
one of the most entertaining things about web 2.0 is watching really cool ideas go to shit. digg is a perfect example of this.
Brian Clark says
That’s damn good writing. 🙂
Nice post. Someone noted above that this was their favorite of yours so far and I’m close to agreeing. Not so calm as most of your posts. Plus smart way to show the difference between blogs and the social network craze. I do get good traffic from Stumble but much of this social site stuff drives me nuts. I remember when you’d just surf and it was so cool to come upon new blogs yourself. Of course I do still surf but there’s a whole who is on digg vibe that’s overwhelming at times.
Anyway really nice post. So nice, maybe I’ll Digg it… Oh, wait.
Eric Schwartzman says
The credibility of so many new media services, Google included, is severly lacking. Thanks for putting Digg’s shortcomings on the record online.
Dave Navarro says
Amen to that. I had 3 posts (one per week) hit the front page with 500-700 Digs each, and it was a wild ride …
Until the next 5 weeks were: Submission and quick ride to 40-50 then … POOF. Gone. It was as if someone noticed that a post from the domain was gaining traction and axed it.
Surprisingly, I actually hit the front page again today. Who knew.
DAVE ID says
No crap? I’ve submitted stuff that’s been buried but others have submitted and POW! 2000 Diggs. Same story.
But Copyblogger is in my feeds. Digg has dugg it’s own grave. The front page is flooded with cute pix, top5 or top10 lists and celeb crap. Snoooz. For NotNews I got to Fark. And now for fun surfing I Stumble. I still Digg around, but it’s just lost its way.
John Stansbury says
You could’ve just stopped at the Ron Paul thing.
Then again, has anybody complained about being Dugg to death lately?
DAVE ID says
I did, when my hoster pulled the plug on my former website for crashing their server 3 times in a week for the second time in 4 months. And I had a supposedly rock solid plan.
Some good points in this post, but they’re mixed up with a lot of anger and hypocrisy. Except you’re not angry, Kevin Rose is just a bitch. And you won’t miss Digg’s hords of WoW playing kids, it’s just unfortunate that they won’t be overwhelming your server anymore with their worthless traffic that grew your subscription numbers.
Take some deep breaths. Try to get over the personal affront of being blacklisted. And write another post that explores the situation in a less emotional and more clear-headed manner. There’s some good material here, but it all goes to waste if you come across as emotional rather than analytical.
Ryan Karpeles says
1. You don’t need Digg. This content is amazing enough as it is. Any additional promotion is marginal at best.
2. The traffic from Digg is nothing special. If you want high-quality readers, you’ll be fine without it.
3. I’m pretty sure this post might make it to the front page (if it’s not auto-buried). Now wouldn’t that be ironic…
What’s Digg ?
Would it be ironic to Digg this article?
Seriously, though, good on your for telling it like it is. I guest post on a well known blog that was banned from Digg for no good reason. Stupid.
Brett Fyfield says
The web can be incredibly cliquey at times, and it can be said the social media crowd are in the business of forming them. Railing against them of course won’t solve anything, except further alienating some of your readership. What would help me as a reader is if your explored the issues surrounding the much hyped but under delivered openness on some of the platforms you mentioned.
You said that people need to be made aware of the bullshit. If so, then how?
aiken – even our humble copyblogger is allowed to be human. frak this tendency to press people into little communications paragons. sometimes things just piss you off. totally ok with me.
Jeremy Steele says
Social media in general is dead. Does anyone use that crap anymore?
Digg is up for sale now. $300 million. A good move I guess before it goes down, right now its all over the place. Dan’s right about fresh perspectives. Lets see.
NOW I know what Nikita Khrushchev was talking about when he said “We will bury you…”
Erik Dungan says
good for you. Digg has become frustrating. Its not “news” and rarely valuable information. Their comments are littered with hate speech.
Keep up the great work.
MG Siegler says
As the subject of the Pronet article you reference I know only too well what you mean. I’m still being buried some 200+ days later. Not one story out of dozens submitted (and no, none by me) above 3 diggs has yet to pass the bury brigade unscathed. A few being buried, sure I can see that, some shouldn’t have been submitted, but all of them?
In the end, Digg is the property of the people who built it and run the servers, and they can do with it as they please. If they wish to run an auto-bury script to remove content they aren’t interested, then good for them. That’s their right. Yeah, yeah… it’s a “social” site, moderated by the community. Whatever. Unless I see a “not for profit, charitable foundation” sticker on their page, or my taxes fund them (neither of which is the case), then they can do whatever they damn well please.
Just as Google did with Pagerank.
These are companies who have their own goals and they should not be faulted for it. The fault lies at the feet of the bloggers who somehow thought that business was fair.
Bravo on this post! I subscribe to your email newsletter and have to admit that most of the time I delete them…but this one caught my attention.
First off.. I’d like to say that DIGG SUCKS!
I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick of Digg and the countless a-holes that infest that site. Ugh… it is SO nasty.
I use to go to the site daily but now you’re lucky to find me visiting the site once a week for about 2 minutes…as that is about all I can stand.
And how about the Diggnation podcast? That, too use to be cool but now it is almost unbearable to listen to. The first thing that comes to mind is Alex Albrecht and his california-ish surfer dude voice… and Kevin and his attitude they have about themselves and how cool they think they are.
God… they totally freaking suck. It was much better in the beginning when Digg was still undiscovered… the “success” has gone to their heads…their egos.
I doubt I’m the only one that feels this way. I would expect Digg to totally crash and burn in the next couple of years.
I dunno… overall, here are my main gripes:
1 – I’m sick of the arrogant, condescending, we are SO cool attitude during the diggnation podcasts.
2 – I’m sick of the zillions of jerkoffs that infest Digg
3 – I’m sick of the fact that no matter how good a story I submit is it will NEVER have a chance to make it to the home page because I didn’t SUCK KEVIN’S DICK.
4 – Forget it… I’m just done… done done done with Digg.
Gerard McGarry says
Big conincidence – I’ve sort of avoided social news websites for the last month (let’s not confuse social news with social networking people!) and found I’m not wasting nearly as much time browsing samey opinions.
I’ve got time for StumbleUpon, but Digg, Reddit et al seem to be mostly spam traps these days with a minority of sites making front page regularly and other voices just don’t get heard.
By the way Brian, Rand Fishkin said a while back that he’d noticed the quantity of traffic sent by the Diff effect had started declining. What was your experience of this before you got auto-buried?
Steve Warshaw says
As a programmer, I HIGHLY doubt they’ve instituted an auto-burry feature. I would suggest they probably do have ratios to prevent websites with a huge following (such as this one) from constantly dominating the front page; giving up and comming websites a chance a publicity. Frankly, I think it’s only fair, considering that if a company such as Nintendo or Apple starting writting blogs for the purpose of dominating social networking sites, even Copyblogger would never have seen the light of day.
Well it’s the same old story… Social media is just that social… when it’s hot it’s hot… and when it’s not, it’s a waste of time and effort.
Never been a fan of media that you can literally sign up and have as many accounts as you can think to put together. Think I’ll stick to the good old unique visitors vs sales technique.
@ mike #50
well then don’t act like it’s one thing when it is another. misleading people is totally unacceptable. a ‘democratic’ site that has a mysterious roomful of ogres pulling strings to serve their purposes is a load of crap. just business…whatever.
Patrick Altoft says
Brian, I don’t think you are on the auto bury list. Sites on auto bury have their posts removed from the list below until you click the “include buried stories” box. Your stories are still there.
You might have been buried by the bury brigade on a regular basis but that’s a different thing to being on the bury list. That works to bury your stories within 3 hours even if they get only a couple of diggs which doesn’t seem to be happening here.
Ouch! Someone seems hurt.
Let’s be fair here. Digg traffic is not worthless. It’s Digg frontpages that got you so many subscribers and attention of the good-willing bloggers. If it wasn’t for Digg, you wouldn’t have developed the authority and credibility that made you a blogging rock-star.
What’s useless is the feedback that the bored teenagers leave in the Digg comments. But who cares about them?
If there is certain auto-bury feature, it most probably self-activates after a domain receives a certain amount of buries from the Digg users.
It’s really sad that Digg has closed its doors to Copyblogger, but as you said, all good things come to an end.
Kevin? He shouldn’t be held responsible for what happened to your blog. It’s Diggers who determine the fate of sites on Digg.
Steven Aitchison says
Brian, you’re right, blogs do have power especially quality blogs like this one and no doubt people will start to believe the ‘Bury Brigade’ does exist.
I am glad it worked for you at the beginning and no doubt was part of the reason for your success, but Digg, I believe, is losing it’s credibility fast and will need to act quickly to salvage it’s reputation.
Great post. I’m not a fan of Digg either, and I’ve been hearing about this “bury list” for awhile now. I hope more people step up and say something about this too.
Had the same problem. When I posted about it I was told by a Digg insider that it wasn’t an auto bury in my case – but that there were a ‘bury brigade’ of Digg users who were working together to bury certain content – and in their aim were blogs, particularly any kind of blog about blogging.
In a similar way to how some publishers work together to get their posts Dugg UP the rankings this group was using their network to Digg DOWN any blog that they didn’t like the look of.
The pattern I saw on a few of my own blogs was that I’d be Dugg up quite naturally by readers, but that when I was a few short of going on the front page it’d bury. The group was monitoring the upcoming pages and could knock anyone out of it very quickly.
It’s kind of sad that Digg have means of cracking down on manipulation of their system when people are digging up, but not to catch groups digging down quality content.
DAMN That sucks
I had heard about that Autobury feature before, but was not sure about it. Now that it is confirmed, I have got one more reason to hate digg. Hey digg, I love copyblogger more than you and now you can go to hell. Coz no one will ever type digg(with 2 g’s) in my browser now. You are just a crap, a plain Sh*t.
Go to hell, because you burried my article which was not like the other useless stuff which gets promoted to you frontpage.
Brian Clark says
No Mohsin, auto-bury is an internal Digg function. Inside the company that lil’ Kevin runs.
And compared with the amount of subscribers I’d actually gain from each Digg, the traffic *is* mostly worthless. Anyone will tell you that.
Well, Digg traffic is not always of great value, but as you say there can be residual value.
A bit of controversy can certainly be quite helpful I learned a while ago from somewhere on this site. Good to see that you stick to your own principles. 😉
Cheers from Bali,
Life is what you make it!
Work At Home Scams says
Applaud you! But doesn’t this raise another question. The Internet has changed a lot where there are certain companies that yield too much power over smaller entities. When big business takes notice of something it usually turns for the worst.
The same points can be argued about Google in terms of search engine rankings, adsense and adwords. If all of sudden you lose favor with them as well you’re screwed there as well.
I guess at the end of the day it goes back to fundamentals. Create quality content and build a relationship with your users via email or rss. This way you’re in control over your future.
I’m not sure if it’s fair to indict these companies because they chose to exercise their given rights as owners. But I do agree they should stop the “frontin” and making it seem like they’re all about a sense of openness and fairness. Just my two cents.
Rob Scott says
Hey Brian, don’t sweat the small stuff!
Digg, as you rightly point out, brings in rafts of useless traffic.
We have a site which Digg will not even accept posts from (sonot even auto-burying, you simply cannot digg a post from this site!) despite that, it is the fastest growing amongst our 12 website team, and shows no sign of stopping. The source of our traffic?? Good old Google.
Digg, and Stumbleupon, have from time-to-time delivered a short belt of high traffic, which from our stats achieves absolute zero for us both in terms of gaining subscribers, or, indeed, from making any money whatsoever.
F*** ’em I say!
Mike - Twenty Steps says
The Digg Mafia claim another victim. Still, like you say, the traffic is pretty worthless. Neither of the visitors who found me on Digg subscribed…
Welcome to the club! I have been on the “list” for quite some time now. As an experiment I started a few new blogs after being put on the list and guess what? Those blogs also shot to the digg homepage until someone at digg figured out it was me writing on them and they then promptly added them to the list as well.
Wear it as a badge of honor, because that is what it is.
Albert | UrbanMonk.Net says
I feel you! I’ve been banned from Digg for no reason at all, I dont’ even try to submit any of my stories. A reader emailed me to let me know she tried Digging one of my articles, and there was a big red error message given in response. Not that I got anything from Digg, but still, it kinda sucks.
Digg can’t be ALL bad. After all I found you via Digg almost a year ago and have been reading Copyblogger ever since.
Having said that, I’ve since stopped looking to Digg for anything deeper than eyeroll inducing headlines. All MOST AMAZINGs and BEST EVARs and little boys starting flame wars. Maybe they call it Digg because you have to be willing to dig through all the sh*t to find any real content.
Harrison McLeod says
I heard rumors of this at the Las Vegas blog expo a few months ago. Women were saying their articles were getting buried simply because the articles were written by women. I’m not thrilled with a lot of these social networks, the maturity level is severely lacking.
So let me get this straight: you think Digg (the site, not the users) cares enough about Copyblogger to auto-bury their stories? Get real. I love Copyblogger, but what makes you think the Digg boys have anything against you — enough to make sure all of your stories are automatically buried?
I’ve never managed to get ‘Dugg’, but I’ve seen it happen to some friends. On one hand, I can see that the massive traffic it can produce can be very welcome. But on the other, it strikes me that the site is unlikely to produce quality traffic. How many will come back again, subscribe or even leave comment?
I guess it’s like any community: the people on there have things in common. In Digg’s case I’d say they:
– Like Apple
– Don’t like Microsoft
– Support Ron Paul
– Like funny photos and videos
So my conclusion is that if your site doesn’t fit into one of those categories, you’re probably better off elsewhere.
If you now hate Digg so much, why do you have a “Digg This” button immediately following this post?
Oritseyemi Emmanuel Madamedon says
“It turns out that the new playing field enforced by the search engines is eliminating many of the shortcuts that used to be effective. In other words, the best way is the long way.
The long way is to create content that is updated, unique and useful. Again and again we see that sites that do all three manage to get more than their fair share of traffic”.
I strongly agree with you regarding diggs and I believe that sites like yours will always get the attention that is needed by individuals who are hungry for quality content.
Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin was once said in an interview a few months ago why he was entering the beverage production sector. He said all he needed is 2 percent of the industry’s share!
Evangelsits of quality stuff will always help spread the gospel according to Brian Clark to those whom they believe will need it to survive. Trust me.
For what it’s worth, I found copyblogger on digg, now I have an awesome resource for my own site.
Ryan Holiday says
If you’ve never made the front it’s really difficult to understand just how worthless the traffic is too. After all, who would turn down 5-20,000 free visitors? The fact of the matter is that after 10+ stories on the front page including my own stuff, we’re seeing an average of a 90-94% bounce rate. All but 6% of the people immediately leave. Fantastic and good riddance.
Bobby Handzhiev says
Who cares about Digg really? You said it, it’s stuff for nerds from nerds. There are even no categories for so many interesting topics that exist in life.
I’ll be very happy when the noise about all this social-media crap stops. It’s just not worth the attention.
Chris Marshall says
Great post Brian, just Dugg it.
yes digg certainly doesnt like good thing coming up… actually i think there are lots of user’s who bury or spam post deliberately to get site out of digg
Jeremy Lim says
Kudos and Dugg as well.
I particularly love that last paragraph…
Brian…spot on dude. One take home lesson: there’s a point in every successful site’s lifespan where you’ve got to wean yourself off social media. I’m a firm believer in this. Social media is good to get noticed up front …but at a certain point, it’s better to just let your popularity snowball itself naturally, and focus your energies on creating resources that no one else is providing.
Hey, btw, not only is auto-bury in place, but I have strong evidence that people are now making money by manipulating Digg’s trigger-happy tendencies.
88 Comments and counting.
Copyblogger has been a staple in my feedreader for a year now, not because it made the front page of Digg, but because you consistently deliver QUALITY content with a high level of signal, next to nothing in terms of noise, and because every time I go to trim my feeds, I know I can’t afford to miss a single post here.
Digg lasted two months in my feed reader, and after finding literally NOTHING of value in that time, I dropped it. Not. One. Useful. Article. At least, not that I hadn’t already found elsewhere.
Social bookmarking sites have value, but only in that it helps you connect with the PEOPLE who know where the good content can be found.
That is completely true, blogs are changing the world. Blogs can be crawled quickly and a blog gives the ability to express your thoughts on an international level. Companies cannot silence people by telling them that their thoughts will fall on deaf ears, you can write what is happening in a blog and put it out there for everyone to see. With the 2.0 boom came flops but through it came the superior notion of blogging.
Mark Evans says
Nice rant. 🙂 One of the big problems with Digg is the low quality traffic it generates. The vast majority of people who check out a Digged blog or site come and go in a flash. They’re looking for a crash scene as opposed to quality content.
lawton chiles says
I seems that DIGG has ticked one too many people off. From the weird Ron Paul stuff to now peddling porn-like images, who knows when they will stop promoting what they want and actually runt the site as advertised.
Another thing I noticed is how down right mean these people are.
Time for some people to get a life apart from their own opinion, which is mostly negative.
Vineet Nair says
I have experienced one thing about digg. I see irrelevant articles get 3 figures diggs and when I check the friend list of those people they have a huge friend list.
So here’s my theory – click on share and shout to all friends to digg and promise reciprocation. Content doesnt matter – u scratch my back I scratch yours.
thats not too bad except that good content gets killed in this process..
I believe you.
I only liked Digg for a short time, and I have have not and will not use Digg any more.
Michael Lodispoto says
I will still be using Digg. I love the site and I bet within a few days you will be having no problems at all with submissions from Digg. They’ve been notified and I’m sure they will reverse this nonsense. I doubt they want enemies right now with your pull as they are shopping for a buyer. I sent them a complaint on your behalf and think they will clear the problem up fast. They did it for me several times for different companies and sites that I own and I can’t possibly believe that they wont correct this for you.
Jeff Chavez says
Loved that. Please keep helping your readers to understand that there are no short cuts. Better to spend time learning how to produce valuable, well written content than to spin wheels trying to claw to the top Digg. It’s like expecting a million dollar superbowl ad for Pets.com to actually pay off.
Wendy Piersall says
Guess I’m in good company, because nearly every story that my readers have submitted from my blog has been buried as well.
Diggers seem to think that anything written on a blog is spam. I think their buries and Diggs are spam. 😉
HART (1-800-HART) says
My glass is always half-full. I never had a chance with Digg traffic – EVER – mostly because blogs like this and other blogs about blogging etc etc were making it to the front page 3-6 times per week.
Perhaps Pet Related sites like mine now have a chance .. given that there is now a Pet/Animal section … I mean .. heck! Does anybody *really* get sick and tired of seeing kittens playing or sleeping?
John Richardson says
What has less value… Google Page Rank or your Digg rating?
Keep up the great writing! Quality content is getting harder to come by!
Wow it feels good i am not the only one being attacked by these pests.
Sounds like a lot of money to someone who creates a way to do the same back to them in exponential quantities.
I would pay big money to throw some crap on their doorstep
Can’t agree with you more. Social Network sites have no way of fooling the real blogger who knows user-generated or original content should be found within the user’s own domain, which is their own blogs.
Thanks for the great writeup.
scott baradell says
Brian, you know I love you — but wouldn’t this post be more heroic if you had abandoned Digg BEFORE they abandoned you?
Brian Clark says
I don’t know Scott… I’m not the one claiming to run a revolutionary democratic social media news site.
In other words, I shouldn’t expect to be abandoned, if Digg were living up to their own BS. Right?
I love you.
But in all fairness I don’t think this blog belongs on the Digg Frontpage.
Most readers of Digg are not looking to develop their copywriting skills, getting traffic, putting hardwork in to start a remarkable business that will succeed.
scott baradell says
Touche, my friend. Touche.
Have not visit Digg for long time.
Brian, It’s refreshing to see you lay down an old-school rant for once. That’s what blogging is all about. Saying it like it is.
I know Copyblogger is about copywriting, sales, meta-blogging, marketing, and so on, but I would subscribe in a second to any blog you wrote that had this type of tone every day.
As far as Digg goes, it’s likely what Darren said. There’s probably a bury brigade hating on meta-blogs. Just like they bury conservative politics.
I’ve always assumed that no matter how well I write, that whole political thing will keep me from ever having a chance on Digg.
Sweet! Well said Brian. I couldn’t agree more.
Terinea Weblog says
Its just too geeky.
A Blog about Nothing says
Digg banned me out-right after about 1.5 months on there. And I didn’t even manage to get anything anywhere near the front page. Count yourself blessed.
I totally agree, I have been writing and telling people to stop wasting their time on social networks and build a brand with a blog of their own.
Digg is not about great posts, its just a bunch of over excited script kiddies in chase of power.
Sad to see CopyBlogger was put on auto bury. Maybe an indication of the fall of Digg (and the rise of Mixx?)…
Shoot, I haven’t used Digg in a long time, so I didn’t know this was going on. That Stinks! I don’t know if this is any better, but I found your blog through StumbleUpon & I subscribed. Your blog has lots of great tips, do keep it up!
Pensacola Real Estate News says
I’m new to Digg, but haven’t been impressed so far. Your article is very helpful and will save me a lot of wasted time. Thank you.
JD Rucker says
Well, I’m proud to report that I Stumbled onto this article. I do use digg often, but an experiment I ran showed that hitting the Digg homepage and getting a ton of stumbles showed that Stumble is far superior at getting useless traffic. Stumble is a little less useless, mind you, and I love the interaction better, but at least you don’t get autoburied at Stumble.
I had 8 hit the Digg FP in the last month, but the last two didn’t, so I’m probably in your shoes now. Got one more testing right now, so if it doesn’t hit, I’ll know Digg is dead to me, as I am dead to digg.
Thanks for the post!
David Airey says
An interesting story, Brian. Thanks for sharing.
I’m a bit late to the party, but was on holiday for a month.
Have a fantastic xmas and new year!
Coach Kip says
Wow those are pretty harsh words for the people at Digg. I like digg, although it has not helped my sites at all. Of course I am no where near the popularity of your site.
I am an avid reader of your blog and it seems that you are really angry over this. Sorry to hear that it has come to that.
I will continue to read, have a good holiday season.
I had no idea this was going on but it was only because I hadn’t sat down and thought about it. Makes sense even though they won’t admit to it. Pretty disgusting but my blog is nowhere near front page material so I’m safe! haha
I thought I was the only one that notice that sites like Digg are a waste of time. My highest score that I reached on the votes is a 4. Most of them are 1 and 2. The 1 is always my vote for submitting it. It makes you wonder how many people at least read your article. Some social sites allow you to post about any topic, but only certain topics are mostly recognized by the members of that site. Sometimes you get a lot of attention with debatters. People get ugly. Sad.
I would like to add that if you think Digg is bad, Reddit can be too. Someone tried to run me off of the site because of art. They tell me it is no place for it, and they did everything in their power to keep me down. I kept right on posting. I make them work. I notice that their are few people that go to that site with art and music. They need to band together and become social. Something keeps telling me to post my work on my own blog and leave publishing services and social sites alone. I have a lot to say.
JD Rucker says
I’m right there with you now.
the question is … is there a way to get “off” this auto bury list?
Digg is good for frat humor. So if you write this type of stuff then Digg in otherwise you should be networking on sites like newsvine and propeller. You can’t force a site to be like you want it. Take it for what it is. The best way to get traffic is to build your own audience over time with useful content.
I have found the Digg to be somewhat over hyped from my experience. There are some hot topics that get a lot of exposure but many get little traffic. For me Digg is nothing special.
Yeah, I’ve seen that happen before. Digg is so annoying!
First of all i want to say what a fantastic blog you have going on here. The post you have here are really of quality value. The knowledge that you share with us is really informative and helpful.
It’s a real shame that you have been placed in the Auto bury list in Digg. Even that is still new to me, as I’m just starting to experiment with Digg it. But at least I know now, while it can be a great place to increase awareness to ones blog. There are chances of getting buried from the Digg ‘scandal’…
Keep the great post coming 🙂
Alfred Saforo says
My Blog is so bad i’ve never made it to the front page of Digg,but i’m still trying really hard(lol). I cant afford to ignore Digg. Maybe in the next ten years i can hit the front page then i can snub no Bury them too. Hopefully by then copy blogger will be so big, we will have to pay to leave our comments here.
Great post, Digg does get on lots of bloggers nerve, but yes I think they are “enemies of success”….
Anyways, I really don’t know when was this posted, maybe it would be a good idea to include a date (or have I missed it)??
Interesting to see what is going on with various ites like Copyblogger and Digg.
Darrell Madore says
I don’t understand why Digg would want to “auto-bury” a source providing good content.
Andy MacDonald says
I couldn’t agree with you more. Whilst Ive never managed to make it to the digg home page Ive not even tried. i prefer stumble but that’s not the point. These big social media sites are built and rely totally on quality content and their users voting for that content, so for them to auto-bury such a brilliant resource and the top-notch content produced here, is an absolute travesty.
Hopefully many more will follow all the people begin to ignore digg, and they face a rough demise. They deserve it.
There is a site called ajaxonomy.com/buryrecorder/ and I looked up a story once about scientology. It only had two comments and the story was marked as inaccurate. When I look it up, it showed that no one hit the bury button and no one marked it as inaccurate. Someone from the digg company had to have auto marked the story. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had auto-bury.
Yes I think stumbleupon is much better you find more stuff there
Colorado Blog says
Well i know that stumbleupon is better than digg but still digg can give you more PR juice than stumbleupon.
Pensacola Property Manager says
“Copyblogger has been placed on the dreaded Digg auto-bury list.”
Is there any way to be released from this?
I agree, I have found your blog and it wasn’t through Digg, so you can be found.
Wow, great post. Also enjoyed Neil’s post that you linked to. Thanks!
I feel for you dude… it appears this definitely does exist.. I have seen this so many times now with hot content providers, this hapened to a hot tehnorati blog not long ago, he had similar views about it..lol.. not happy at all
Not like you need em, super blog you got ere, will be dropping by often
Clearview Writing says
This is pretty interesting, I was never aware teat the list actually existed!
Congratulations on getting so many readers though mate, I seriously struggel to get hundreds of visits, let alone thoousands of subscribers!
I had never thought of Digg using an auto-bury feature, but after the combination of personal experience with Digg and reading this post, I’m sure you’re on to something.
Seems like anything I submit gets buried almost instantly. It wouldn’t matter if I were the first to submit a story like ‘Australia Just Sank Into The Ocean’, I’d still get nailed.
I think Digg is more like a high school popularity contest than a serious social media resource anyway. I’ve seen some really stupid stories make it to their front page, but since they were submitted by the “cool kids”, everybody Diggs. Not me.
Brisbane Marketing Consultant says
I think Digg “jumped the shark” about 6 months ago. They lost focus and tried to broaden their appeal.
Thanks for the great post! I agree with you and most of the comments here.
Blog Shot says
Digg jumped the shark when they broadened their appeal to the masses. Slashdot has maintained their focus and still have huge volumes of traffic from a very attractive demographic.
Mystic Madness says
this article was very insightful. I never new something like this happens even in social media.
Odd Games says
That is terrible you are on the bury list. I mean I wish I could get one article on the front page. I guess it is all about your readers. Like you 29,000 readers you will get yourself on the front page a lot. I only have like 10 haha no front page for me but I guess I need better content.
Ben Peck says
I raise my hand and agree.
John H says
Yes, I think Digg will limp along from a financial point of view for a few more years then just fade away.
It was a nice idea at the time, but the internet has moved on. I find that Stumble is far more interesting.
John Konrad says
Do you remember last year google was all set up to buy digg UNTILL it reached the due diligence stage and got to peek under the sheets? The deal quickly went south and here’s my theory why…
Google is interested in technology that can uncover what content that visitors are interested in but what they found was that digg does not have a revolutionary algorithm to sift through results… what they do have is basic php code and a brilliant team of EDITORS that promote, bury and filter results.
Just a theory but I’ve been watching digg since day one (digg username: jakv5) and this is my gut feeling.
Pensacola Mortgage says
I couldn’t agree more Brian.
Keep on blogging!
So is Twitter the new Digg? I do pretty well out of Stumble and will be investing time in Twitter this year.
A new one to watch:
The founder was funded by winning a business school competition with his idea for this site. It’s sort of a digg/reddit but focused on political news and on debating the topics therein.
We believe that the news is too important to be treated as a form of entertainment. We envision a future where every perspective is given a voice…where important issues are thoroughly analyzed… where everyone is brought into the discussion.
That article is so true and it resonates with me. However, do we not use Facebook and Digg for our own purposes as well? In this non-ideal world, I’ve come to accept all the “good” and “evil” that is out there (sometimes they are debatable subjective terms – it’s about the degree of good/evil). I make do the best I can.
BTW, the title caught my attention as I said to myself while clicking through “What? …”. There is more to learn than the actual things you write in your blog pages – the way your write is to be learned – following your examples (like the provocative title) adds a lot to my learning and benefit.
In my foray into social media networking, I have had success in Facebook, less so in Twitter and almost zero impact in Digg which I clearly do not understand.
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