I guess by now, every blogger knows that Digg users don’t like blogs. I wrote about Digg before with a self-explanatory illustration What Can Digg do with your website from blaugh.com. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that bloggers don’t try every trick in a blogosphere’s book (written by the same bloggers, who’ve been dugg) to reach Digg’s front page.

Well, nobody wrote about this particular trick on how to become Digg’s favourite blog, but two students from Germany have certainly discovered the secret formula of success and turned their blog into a front page Digg machine. So what’s the secret?

Simply collect hundreds of resources together on a certain topic and post them on your blog. Apparently, it makes digg users life much easier when they can go and look through all Firefox themes on one page rather than browse them by category from Firefox Official Theme’s page. Personally, I didn’t find any Firefox theme worthy of replacing the standard one. But who am I to think so – 928 digg users gave a standing ovation to Smashing Magazine’s collection of Firefox themes.

I wonder if Smashing Magazine’s founders knew that almost every other post on their blog would reach Digg’s front page with hundreds, often thousands of diggs? What are the origins of Smashing Magazine and how it was able to reach #271 on Technorati ranking in only 7 months of its existence?

Well, one of the blog’s founders, Vitaly Friedman, is the creator of a very popular collection of hundreds of web design resources, all under one roof – The Web Developer’s Handbook. What a great idea to break down those resources into separate blog posts. His co-founder, Sven Lennartz, is the owner of a successful German site Dr. Web Magazine.

So it’s not surprising that most of the Smashing Magazine’s English posts are simply mirrors of their original German counterparts, or vice versa. Travis from YoungGoGetter.com was questioning these similarities in his post The secret of being Dugg, exposed. I’m not sure whether it’s been added to Smashing Magazine’s About page later on, but they do mention about Dr. Web there.

Let me guess what would be the next digg-worthy post from Smashing Magazine? Would it be an exhaustive collection of online Colour Tools or 41 Tech/Design websites?

Don’t get me wrong – these guys are doing a great job, collecting all these resources, some of the posts from Smashing Magazine are really very helpful (my favourite ones are Font related). However, I’m not crazy about some of the titles and the number of resources. I found only 3-4 websites from 45 Fresh, Clean and Impressive Designs to be actually “fresh” and “clean”, the rest were cluttered, with similar Web 2.0 trendy design features.

What I’m trying to understand here is the Digg users mentality. How come so many other great blogs never reach Digg’s front page, even though some of their posts come with more helpful and useful resources than posts from their favourite SM?

Should I perhaps follow the magic formula of SM success and post “8 bytes” (that’s a whopping number of 64 links) of useful resources on certain topics, instead of my usual “8 bits”? Is it always that the quantity rather than a quality that deserves Digg’s attention? Or is there another secret that’s less obvious but more successful than this? How come that this great collection of 101 Projects for Artists and Illustrators from DaniDraws.com didn’t get dugg? Is it because most of the Digg users are too lazy to actually do something creative and unique instead of copying each others techniques?

I don’t know – you tell me. What I see is hypocrisy among many digg users: they don’t say what they mean, nor do they mean what they say, and what’s more, they don’t do what they preach.

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14 Insightful Bits in response to “How to Become Digg’s Favourite Blog”

  1. This is interesting stuff. I think that the formula is probably a descent starting point, but a lot of it probably has to do with the topic. Firefox is popular, art projects aren’t (neither is photography apparently).

  2. By the way, I’d stick to 8 bits rather than bytes. I can’t stand information overload, and I like a good thoughtful condensed list.

  3. ibit

    Thank you, Brian. It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who can’t stand information overload :-)
    Re: photography. I’m afraid that more and more people call themselves photographers just because they own a decent camera and opened a Flickr account.

  4. I am not a digg fan. Most of the articles I read about it talk about manipulation. So, that turns me off. I visited the digg site when I decided to start my own blog and I didn’t find anything of interest there. Maybe some day I will change my tune especially since digg success equeals traffic.

  5. Digg needs a “blog” category..

  6. ibit

    I’m with you on that, Joey.
    I’ve just written about an article that explains some of the Digg characteristics. It’s worth reading if you are planning on learning more about Digg to bring traffic to your site.

  7. ibit

    @Ilker – Digg needs to add more categories, not just a “blog”. On the other hand, I don’t quite understand why so many Diggers rebel against bloggers – Digg is nothing but a multi-user Blog, and many diggers are bloggers.

  8. ^^Agreed. New categories are needed.

  9. Maybe the digg users don’t like “real digging” anymore? Maybe they’ve started to rely on an already dugg stuff? There are many things possible.

    I’ve seen that SM always wins the digg home page with a “*long* list of stuffs”. Maybe Digg users just love collecting stuffs!? If this is the case, blogs like SM will surely stay ahead @ Digg.

  10. ibit

    Yeah, looks like many Digg users like bookmarking sites with long list of resources. I wonder how often do they review those sites, and if they do to check ALL those listed resources?

  11. Wow! As discussed in this article, their new release is a 42 Design/Tech Magazines! Hah, 41+1..

    Whatever they do, now I’m sure that every time, they become champion with a *list*. Cool!

  12. ibit

    Yep, you see – I’m like Casandra for Smashing Magazine – predicting their future posts now :-)


  1. Uncommon Knowledge » Why doesn’t collaborative blog ranking exist?

    [...] shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people that Digg users pretty much hate blogs (unless you’re Smashing Magazine apparently). So on the one hand, we have Digg users who are [...]

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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