How Spam Killed Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon

Blame SpamThe statement could be pushed over to just about any true Web 2.0 site where voting and popularity determine the success of a piece of content. Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace – overrun by spam. Mixx, Propeller, Yahoobuzz – spam havens.

For social news powerhouses Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon to be so changed by the presence of gobs and gobs of spam hits a little harder. They are the sites where I started my journey in Web 2.0. They are the shiny beacons of user-controlled, traffic-generating goodness that made mainstream media look to the people for their opinions and discoveries.

They are, for all intents and purposes, shells of what they should be, and spam is to blame. Perhaps more importantly, how they handled spam over the years has caused them to close their networks in one way or another through a series of witchhuntesque spam countermeasures.

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The Simple Truth About Digg’s Lack of Profits

It was hard.  For as long as I can remember, I have not been one who clicks on banner ads.  Heck, in most cases, I don’t even see them (thank you FF).

A friend of mine who is an avid reader turned me onto Audible.com to download audio books.  With recent articles in BusinessWeek and TechCrunch about the financial woe’s they’re having at Digg, I remembered seeing an Audible ad on Digg and thought, why not?

Audible Ad on Digg

I’m going to be signing up for the service anyway.  Why not throw a bone to the site that consumes a ton of my time?

The results weren’t good:

Bad URL

These things happen.  I sent an email to Digg pointing out the issue and waited.  It is now 4 days later.  I surfed Digg, doing my thing, checking every time I went to a new page to see if my target ad had found me.  It eventually did, but still, it didn’t work. [Read more...]

Complete this Sentence in 140 Characters or Less: “2009 will be the year of ___ because ___.”

The Year ofIn so many ways, 2008 was a predictable year.  When the year began, the economy was heading in the wrong direction, while Twitter was being born into “wow, this is way cool.”  The Republican Party was one political faux pas after another, while smart phones were going from luxury to necessity with each new glorious app and feature.

Google was at its peak with no place to go but down.  The automotive industry was already feeling like a step-child before they became an orphan.  The Dark Knight was phenomenal while Speed Racer was phenomenally bad.

None of these things were surprises, but there were a few unexpected happenings.  Gas peaked (for now) and bottomed out just in time for holiday travel.  The Detroit Lions were worse than anyone thought a team in 2008 could be.  John McCain fought back from obscurity within his own party to win the nomination, then threw us a VP curveball that flew over the catcher, over the ump, and on towards the talkshow circuit.

2009 seems to be starting with quite a bit more uncertainty.  How will it end up?  Nobody knows, of course, but at least we can speculate.  I would like comments, please, with your predictions of what 2009 will be.  Here are a few to get it started: [Read more...]

European Politics 2.0: Romanian PM hits Twitter, Facebook

This is a guest post courtesy of maxyRO

Romania

In America, we’re in the midst of the elections.  It’s a time where the political landscape is changing and everyone is trying to grab a slice of the pie. We, as social media users, have paid a good share of attention to the US elections, sometimes unwillingly.

It goes without saying that social media is a big part of the online campaigns that are helping candidates reach out to its younger audience. But it’s not just the US candidates that have taken up social media and started using it as a political tool.

Countries overseas are also getting into the social media landscape.  Romania has the first Prime Minister in the European Union to get both a twitter and a facebook account along with the launch of his new website. [Read more...]

With Great Social Media Power Comes Great Responsibility

Give(This story has been updated with a newer idea here: A Plan for Social Media Sites (and users) to Give Back)

Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Slashdot, Newsvine, NowPublic, Yahoo! Buzz.  Between these seven sites, traffic to a particular website can easily exceed 100,000, potentially much higher.

With so much power to drive people to various websites across the Internet, why are none of them greatly involved with charity?  I’m not talking about donating – I’m sure that the companies or their executives donate.  I’m talking about making a difference.  I’m talking about using their power to drive traffic and applying it to charity websites.

The reason that they don’t is that they (other than Slashdot) are strictly driven by the actions, likes, and intentions of the users.  You could argue that there is a human hand or two manipulating the system from time to time, but that’s an entirely different post. [Read more...]

Tip’d: A Social Media Site on the Rise

Tip'dWith so many open source variations of social media sites, there are new ones launched every day.  Most cater to a very small niche and rarely make it to 100 registered users.

Tip’d is the exception.  After its official launch last week, it has already made some amazing strides as of October 20, 2008:

  • 750+ registered users
  • 1000+ articles submitted
  • Approaching 10,000 Tips received
  • 600+ comments made

The real splash, though, is in the quality of users.  Social media powerhouses like zaibatsu, tamar, jaybol, Emit, nowsourcing, weblaunches, webaddict, 1only, coloneltribune, ritubpant, TunisianGuy, and  adrian67 have been active on the site.  Many of them came because of the endorsement of another social media powerhouse, msaleem. [Read more...]