Call for Quotes from Social Media Superstars

We are putting together a piece about social media superstars and what motivates them. Looking for opinions.  Please leave your opinions or quotes in the comments of this story.

There are those who spend several hours every day on social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Mixx, Sphinn, and StumbleUpon.  These sites invariably get huge benefit by having these people, as they can themselves become part of the news.  The question is, “What’s in it for them?”

Is it the fame and notoriety?  Few use their real names as their profile name, so that COULD be it, but I tend to think it’s a small part.

Power?  Most have heard of the Digg Effect, while a power Stumbler can have a huge effect on a website with a click of a button.  Do they enjoy knowing that they’ve helped out a blog or website tremendously (or possibly killed their server) by sending thousands of people to their website?  Perhaps.

Is it an earnest desire to spread quality content?  Maybe they’re promoting an opinion, a trend, a product?  Helping a candidate or a cause?

Maybe it’s just fun.  As one top Digger who already answered the question for me noted, “Some people play Xbox 360.”  He, on the other hand, shuts down servers.  Hopefully, we’ll know soon enough.

The story itself will probably be posted here, but it may end up on my new blog (with nothing currently on it) at  Either way, I’ll let you know.  Please post your comments.

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  1. Getting recognition fro what they do. Muhammad Saleem is a well known digg submitter and I’m sure it hasnt harmed the consulting social media jobs hes been able to get.

    The top 3 diggers even have their own podcast talking about what they do, it’s partly doing what they love but I’m sure theres a little ‘game’ involved as they mentioned on one of their most recent podcast episodes.

    I certainly don’t hold anything against them though, they are good at what they do and find stories people want to read.

  2. I can only answer for what and why *I* use the sites, which is for a number of reasons.

    I know how much energy and time it takes to write good quality content. I like to drive traffic to those who’ve put forth a valiant effort in doing so, and for posting interesting and/ or compelling information and content.

    Additionally, I use the sites to find inspiration for things to write about for myself, as well as being a hopeless news junkie.

    I also know how much time it takes to find and submit these stories. I vote good finds up in reward or recognition for the efforts it takes to do it.

  3. Okay, here’s my long winded answer =]

    There are a couple of things that draw me to digg. First and most importantly, for the past three years digg has been my primary source of technology news. By searching out stories that have not yet been on digg’s front page that I thought were important, I feel like I am helping the community as a whole.

    Additionally though, digg to me is a new type of game where by the rules and the strategy to win are unclear and ever changing, but the concept is simple; battle it out with ~10,000 other stories on any given day and rise to the top. The most important thing here of course is to get a story that everyone will enjoy/learn from, but there is much more to it.

    While I do consider the social submitting part of digg to be a bit of a game where by over time you build up alliances of other trusted social submitters and the most successful players excel, I do not consider those who do good on digg to be ‘gaming digg’ necessarily. Everyone is playing for the same end result, and (usually) only the good content gets to or at least stays on the front page. As I used to be a picky digger before getting into submitting, I am also a picky submitter. After sifting through hundreds articles in my newsreader every day, I only submit a couple stories every few days, and they usually do quite well.

    In short, what draws me to digg is the excitement & challenge of getting a story to the front page that I know will be beneficial to the rest of the community while meeting other interesting people along the way, and also digging up stories already there to show importance, and to be able to find them again later.


    PS: To borrow a line from zaibatsu, digg my stories! 😉

  4. “Gidday . . . My Name’s ToeCracker and I’m a Diggoholic!”

    Being reasonably new to the whole social media aspect, I quickly found myself addicted to it. The game of finding a great story to submit which can gain maximum exposure for the website is a fun one to play.

    It’s a huge learning curve and I do love to get a story successful otherwise why submit it for the hell of it? It doesn’t make sense and yes, only a small % will be a HUGE success.

    I think many people have their favorite sites they spend more time on.

    For me, it’s DIGG. I guess I’m a ‘Diggoholic’ where the challenge is grabbing a great story before someone else and then if I get 1-2 front page – I then want another one.

    When I know my submissions or my diggs have helped a person and or their website for the right reasons which gains exposure AND when it helps get attention to those sick MOFO’s who hurt children etc. then I can go to sleep each night knowing I have helped make a small difference in this world – My world . . . YOUR world.


  5. I’ve been on Digg for a long time now. In the beginning I was a “power-user” but after being hired at Propeller, I have backed off from Digg – submitting one a day or so.

    I also work for – which is like Digg, but the emphasis is on finding quality journalism, not just “diggable stuff.”

    All that said: What originally motivated me was pure ego/work related. I was a writer when I began working for Seed magazine and – so when I wrote stories I wanted them to be read – and I would submit them to Digg.

    At that time the scene was much smaller. Now, however, social bookmarking serves two very important functions in addition to just getting eyes on a page.

    1. Keeps me informed: Mostly through niche social news sites. While Digg is great – and the “industry leader” – I think each social news site develops a specific niche community that has experts in specific fields. The more sites I keep an eye on, the better I can stay informed in those particular niche areas.

    2. Networking. This is still a new part of social news sites (as are these blogs which follow the amount of networking that is taking place on them). At first I was adamantly opposed to it. I still am very cautious – because through this networking and as social news sites spread – they naturally exposed themselves to spammers/gammers/trolls – all that classic internet stuff. I have come to realize, however, that the networking is happening around these sites, not BECAUSE of these sites and the larger community that participates is generally smart and recognizes when they are being gamed.

    For me: I don’t like to say/think that I am a professional social bookmarker. To me, participating in these sites is an act of journalism and this is an extension of my role as a journalist – it’s about spreading useful information. That’s the bottom line. That said: social media rock stars provide a valuable service: They are information traders – that’s what these sites are all about.

  6. What do I get out of Social Media Sites like Digg & StumbleUpon?

    I contribute to digg, mixx and stumbleupon, mainly because I work on a help desk with ALOT of downtime, so this is a way for me to fill the void. I surf the internet ALL day, so it’s only fair that I share what I read with others. It just seems like the right thing to do.

    Of course, thats just how it started. Once you get one or two submits to the FP of Digg, the addiction will set in. It’s a good feeling to know that others like what you submitted. I have had great success on digg & SU, and because of that success.. It seems that I have caught the ‘Social Media Bug’ and I can’t seem to fight it.

    The main thing that I personally gain from participating on these sites, is the contacts. I have met and chatted with alot of people who also contribute like I do. Some really good people, who just want to help spread awareness with articles about a specific topic, most of which they are passionate about.

    Most people use digg to stay up-to-date on tech-related stories. This is not why I use digg, mixx or SU. If you follow any of my submits, you will see that I mainly stay in the Environment, Science, Health & Sports sections. Because this is what I like, and social media sites help me stay up to date on the latest news & blog posts about what I like.

    I just want to put out there that I make NO money or get ANY compensation for participating on these sites. One may argue that I am working only to make others more money, such as Kevin Rose. However, I don’t look at it from this light.

    Personally, I like to believe that Social Media sites are just a tool that I can utilize to help build and shape the internet in my own unique way.

  7. 5 Reasons Why I’m Into Social Media:

    I – Networking with some of the intelligent internet users one could hope for.

    II – Finding great content which I would never find otherwise if I didn’t have a network of geek friends.

    III – I enjoy helping others promote their blog, site, ideas, etc.

    IV – It’s a great tool to have under your belt.

    V – You learn new things everyday and you help others learn as well.

  8. Not *quite* a “Superstar” user but I do watch those who are. Why? Community, conversation, contacts but, most of all, learn something new each day. Why? So I can help my clients figure out where *they* should spend their time. Each socnet has a different flavor, market, audience. Vital for me to understand the differences. Thus, long-term, web active content clients do *not* have time to waste on socnet (what’s the next trend please?) sites that do not offer an audience for them. So who wastes time there? Me! Peace to your day… 😉

  9. Social Media is about being social, and that probably motivates me most of all. If you really don’t understand that in the first place, you shouldn’t be dabbling in this space. So many companies think they can leave this to their interns because they have facebook or myspace pages. Honestly would you let an intern run your magazine campaign, no so why this medium where it can spread like wildfire in less than an hour?

    The biggest thing about social media is that it reaches well beyond Digg, Mixx, Sphinn, Propell. It reaches forums, message boards, blogs, niche communities that include everything (news/blogs/boards) and IM clients like Twitter. If you aren’t real or genuine with your efforts, you be sniffed out and booted out for the stupid marketer you really are.

    Social media is serious business, companies need to pay attention to what’s being stumbled or dugg, linked to on forums. Its not necessarily about the “power” I can wield with my social media accounts for me, it’s more the successful strategies I know I can bring to the table by fostering great relationships through the social mediums that are allotted to me. I may not be a power “digg” user, but I have a heck of a lot more pull in that niche knitting community where my fabric and yarn clients’ customers are. That to me is way more challenging and way more rewarding!

  10. The concept of a social media rockstar is so overblown. I definitely pay attention to what these so-called stars say, and have found some of the blogs to be very useful in learning how to get content promoted and in learning to network through social media sites. But honestly, the capacity to garner votes after years of participation and to take credit for finding someone else’s story first is hardly on par with a rockstar.

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