The importance of mutual friends on Digg

by guest author Benny Greenberg of Ya-ttitude.

Mutual Friends play the most important role for us on digg, they digg our stories out of oblivion in the quickest time possible. These diggers almost always make our stories go “HOT” or they at least move our stories to top positions where others can notice, pushing us to the front page.

I agree, diggs from Mutual Friends count less than natural diggs, but by getting our stories noticed to random diggers they give us all important time to gather naturals. Imagine your story with 24 natural diggs in 8 hours at the bottom of nowhere against 102 diggs from friends but “HOT” in category or well placed in upcoming pages in 3 hours. You still have 21 hours to gather all the naturals in the world.

This is the reason why shouts work but not all the time. Once your story climbs up the upcoming popular pages they need “popular” or natural diggs, diggs from outside of the group, diggs from people who have never dugg your story on previous occasions, diggs from random users. Title and Description play the most important part here, that’s way words like top 5, top 10, faceplants, EVER, sometimes BAD GRAMMAR work but for a limited time. I have recently realized the FAIL, EPIC FAIL and INNUENDO of all kinds are almost instant success.

For my 5100 digg submission I made a typo in the submission. I spelled Burger King incorrectly with a slip of the fingers. It was fine in the title, but my description called the King the Kinf. The story went pop and still gets diggs, but has almost 600 comments last I looked. Most of the early ones because of my typo, but the typo did what it needed to do – it made the story hot!

Recommendation Engine: As you all know a digg from the recommendation engine is worth its value in gold. So what gets your story in the Reco Engine – again it’s the diggs from mutual friends. Faster your mutual friends’ digg your story, the faster is your story displayed in the reco engine to “their” friends who might not be your friends (keep this in mind as it is an important part of the process) and thus further increasing your chances of getting more natural diggs from random users whom you don’t know. In theory this should set in a chain reaction and the story gets displayed to more and more random users.

Moral of the story: You need mutual friends who will digg your story up and make them rise in upcoming popular pages, good eye-catching titles, and descriptions further help to gather natural diggs. Natural diggs or diggs from random unknown diggers will make your story go pop.

Conclusion: The digg algorithm looks for “diversity in digging activity”. But you can game the diversity to your advantage!

Using tools / submitting whitelisted domains
As you know its simple to FP (front page) certain domains which I think are pre-approved or white-listed by Digg. A story from cracked or xkcd is a guaranteed front page. Then again so are stories from arstechnica, msn, nytimes, latimes, livescience, cnn, discovery, nationalgeographic, huffingtonpost, gizmodo, lifehacker, theonion, forbes, usatoday etc etc – if subbed by a power digger will pop more often than not. There are many other domains and can be easily sourced from socialblade.com or di66.net. Check it out – Some of those numbers, member numbers and story numbers boggle the mind!

OK now you know the domains, but how do you know when they update and be the first to submit, I know for sure cracked.com updates between 07:30 AM and 08:30 AM EST daily or weekdays to say the least, and a powerdigger will submit a cracked.com story and front page it everyday. 1 hour time frame, so do you have to keep on refreshing for 1 hour? Wouldn’t it be great if a tool would alert you as soon as the page is updated? Welcome our new hero – C4C aka Check4Change . You may love this one! No No – YOU WILL LOVE THIS ONE!

I think the tool is very simple to use. Just select the text you want it to monitor for changes – almost always it will be the first title or heading of the story that changes whenever the page updates – right click the selected text and select the interval you wish the tool to check the web-page. For cracked.com I do advice you to set 1 sec.

Now I can tell you that this is not a fool-proof system, but after the amount of time I have spent on Digg – it is about as foolproof as possible. You will knock `em dead with this.

Related posts found in this blog:
How to use Digg effectively
Blog Catalog: A New Social Network
How to use Stumbleupon effectively

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: reddit :: furl :: TailRank

11 thoughts on “The importance of mutual friends on Digg

  1. Pingback: How to use Digg effectively « one cool site: wordpress blogging tips

  2. Pingback: Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown « one cool site: wordpress blogging tips

  3. @PMS: Faster your mutual friends’ digg your story, the faster is your story displayed in the reco engine to “their” friends who might not be your friends (keep this in mind as it is an important part of the process) and thus further increasing your chances of getting more natural diggs from random users whom you don’t know.

  4. Rather than mutual friends, wouldn’t it be better to have a large list of people that follow your twitters or you can email/AIM for a Digg? Digg discounts the diggs from mutuals so heavily that it’s much better to gather an “offline friend network” that you can access for that initial pop.

  5. @sensico
    Frankly, I’m not impressed with Digg. Only 5 or 6 of my own posts have been Dugg by my “friends” which number 122. In contrast I have dugg 771 articles and commented on 350.

    I have witnessed an increase in the number of blatantly commercial submissions that don’t get my vote. I’ve seen an increase in the number of “humor” articles that are not in the least creative or unique and an increase in the number of videos that are aimed at adolescent males. I don’t digg them.

    Setting that aside, I have watched bloggers have their friends Digg each and every post they write when IMO most were neither worthy of submission or digging.

    I’m NOT into gaming the Digg system or gaming any other social network either. I’m not into gaming of any kind. In the final analysis, I feel that my time would be better spent elsewhere.

  6. I agree. I use digg.com a lot and everyone who becomes one of my fans, I add them on as a mutual friend. These are the people who not only give me material to comment on, but they help promote my stories by digging them, and thus recommending it to their other friends on digg.com.
    One of my friends dugg my story and it made it to the front page of the politics section of digg, got me over 44,000 hits from digg.com, it was blowing up my whos-amung-us widget :-D

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