I have submitted a story or post of mine to Digg three times in a half-year of membership.
I readily know that I have friends who’ll swear that number is larger.
I recently pledged to work on limiting my own shameless self-promotion and, admittedly, nothing is dirtier than submitting your own work to Digg or other sites, like ReddIt and Stumble Upon. So, I thought I’d set some guidelines for others and, well, really, myself to follow.
First, this is a world and an age that requires self-promotion, so don’t let your friends or even a healthy sense of humility force you to entirely balk at the possibility, even the reality of putting your own name, your own work into the big mess that has become competing for the attentions of readers.
Know the site you’re using. Digg, for example, is heavy on tech and lists. Two of the four works of mine that have been on Digg thus far are from my personal site (though I only submitted one of those two), and, looking back, that does feel particularly wrong. I’m not ready to make the steadfast claim just yet, but I’m near to rescinding those past actions and suggesting one should very nearly never submit one’s work from one’s own personal site.
If you’ve written for an established publication or you’ve started a new blog, then I think the rules are a bit more liberal, but I’d guess submitting your own work any more than once a month would be just plain wrong.
All of this comes with an agreement, I think, that you’re actually using Digg or any other service for more than your own self-promotion. I do use Digg and digg other stories I enjoy. If you have any intentions of doing the same, you ought to use whatever service you want to promote you. I never got into using StumbleUpon, so I don’t promote my site on it, though others sent traffic my way through it, so I added a link on my about page.
That last bit is more than class, though, it also helps to face the reality of Digg. You need a rich community of fellow Digg users – or Stumble Upon or ReddIt or others – to bring any traffic your way. You can’t do it alone, which is why signing up and only digging your own work doesn’t help.
It’s why my own self-promotion fell short — it seemed forced. Unless you know a few dozen active Digg users, you’re better off leaving the digging to others because you’ll only seem needy.
Below see the four stories of mine that ended up on Digg, not even one of which got more than six diggs.
- When the hell do you tip in Europe? – It’s global and a topic of regular conversation but rare dissection, I am comfortable with this.
- Worst problems with Google applications – It has Google in the name, yet was critical. I also collected as many opinions as I could.
- 12 Months Of Top Journalism Blog Posts In 2008 – I didn’t submit this myself, though once I saw it submitted, I did digg it. Lists, Digg users love lists, but this certainly wouldn’t be worth self-promotion, though it was heavy on outbound linking, as healthy a blogging practice as any.
- Ballet, Opera, Orchestra orgs. on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – Social media get attention particularly on Digg, but there was no reason for my self-involvement, though I liked the thought of any philly.com story getting traction on the news aggregation giant.
Icon from Phil Reinhardt.