To Digg or not to Digg? You decide

Digg.com header

It is a beast of a site that has risen from nothing over the last couple of years. In 2006, Digg established itself as one of the primary drivers of Internet traffic.

The concept of delivering democratically elected news articles sounds great in an idealistic kind of way. The reality however, is slightly different. As a news reader it is important to take what you read with a pinch of salt – there is a reason the collective millions of Digg users are not editing newspapers or TV news channels.

However, for content publishers and blog owners, Digg offers a unique opportunity to publicise your content to huge audiences and generate quite staggering numbers of visitors to your site.

As David Airey discovered a few weeks ago, hitting the front page of Digg brings with it mixed blessings. David’s site crashed, he got warning emails from his host company’s abuse department, and many of the Diggers comments were less than polite.

So was it worth the hassle for David? I think so. There are a few things he could have done to better prepare for the explosion of traffic. An excellent article by Ivan at creativebits details a number of steps you can take to survive the Digg effect. These include choosing the right host, optimising your site and accelerating your PHP, amongst other things.

How valuable is Digg traffic?

Many people argue that Digg traffic is here today and gone the tomorrow, without having much of a positive lasting effect to your overall traffic levels. Neil Patel of Pronet Advertising disagrees. In his article, how to get the most out of Digg traffic, Neil shows how to maximise RSS subscriptions and return visits by implementing a few simple tweaks to your site.

Similarly, Darren Rowse of Problogger argues the benefits of Digg traffic and lists 10 ways to build a Digg culture on your site. Darren is quite literally the godfather of blogging and any advice he offers is well worth taking heed of.

Chart of Digg traffic accumulating

An interesting addition to this debate can be found on Chitika, where Alden DoRosario compares the value of Digg traffic with Google traffic and concludes that Google traffic is three times more like to generate ad revenue than Digg traffic. Alden adds that this may be due to the Digg demographic – ad-aware, techy Internet power-user.

So what do I make of all this?

I find reasons to dislike Digg but the truth is I keep going back for my daily dose of Digg news. But then I’m a techy-geek just like every other Digg user. Digg users certainly are a very specific demographic. If truth be told a few Diggs would probably do this site the world of good. Whether my host would hold up under the strain, I don’t know? And whether my content is worthy of Digging, I also don’t know. That’s the beauty of Digg – it’s up to you to decide.

Many thanks for the recent comments from: Randa, Gregory, Daniel, Scot, David, Taleen and Tony.

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2 fantastic comments

Interesting post, Aaron, and thanks for linking through to my site.

Love it or hate it, Digg can greatly increase the amount of people reading your blog articles. For those of you who weren’t aware, the post on my site that Aaron links to in this article is my idea of humour. I was actually very grateful for those who ‘dugg’ my article about logo design.

Aaron, don’t worry, I’ll not hold it against you being a Utd fan. Some people have to do it. I’m a Liverpool fan so I hope you don’t end up boycotting my site!

You’re welcome!

Another blogger extraordinaire is johnchow.com.

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