News Niblets: Social Media’s Best and Worst Quality

NibletsMany people love appetizers.  They’re usually overpriced, under-portioned, and loaded with calories, but we love them anyway.  Why?  Because they’re quick, easy, and too the point.

Social media websites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller offer the same product in the form of headlines.  We get to nibble on the news, taking it in bits and pieces, served to us through headlines that are often sensationalized or pointed.  While some people take the nibble and move on the main course by reading the full story, a good portion of us live on the appetizers.  We read the headlines, possibly read the descriptions, occasionally scan the story (or even just the first few paragraphs), then it’s back to the social media site for the next bite of news via headlines.

Some never make it past the headlines, establishing a reaction or opinion based on the nibblet.  This is good.  This is also bad. [Read more…]

Pwned: The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment Initial Results

First, a disclaimer about this experiment and the analysis.

In retrospect, this experiment was flawed.  The subject matter and style of delivery was very clearly geared in favor of one of the combatants.  When it was initially conceived, it was decided that the experiment would best be delivered through a post that announced itself.  By checking traffic statistics on a post titled: “The StumbleUpon Digg Experiment”, there would be equal billing, equal exposure, and most importantly, equal chances through the delivery methods to give both sides a chance.

We were wrong. [Read more…]

The Godfather and Social Media

Vito as StumbleUpon?In many ways, the top level websites of social media can be compared to the fictional world of The Godfather.  Sounds weird?  Hear me out.

The Godfather showed us a world of beauty and corruption.  Alliances were made and broken.  Those who were good to the family were rewarded, while anyone who stepped in the way was hit.

Social media works in much the same way.  It can be beautiful, offering the best of the web compiled into loosely organized areas where masses of people can flood a worthy website and enjoy its offerings.  It can be corrupt, as spammers use the power of social media to drive traffic to unworthy websites. [Read more…]

Front Page Addiction: Destroying Families, Ruining Lives

*** As my first real parody piece, I am moving this up in the blog to see if it gets more comment luv. ***

A little-known but dangerous epidemic is spreading across members of social media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Newsvine, and Mixx.  Like a secret scourge, SM-FPA (social media front page addiction) isn’t making national headines yet, but the effects have been felt in thousands of households across the world.

“Ever since my wife’s submission hit the front page of Reddit last month, we only see her on the way to the bathroom,” said Jake Dixon.  His wife Amber, better known as “diggwho”, made the front page of Reddit with a story titled Bush makes more people mad by saying something stupid.  Since then, Amber has been submitting 15-25 stories per day and has a submission hit the front page 3-5 times per week.  She declined to be interviewed.

Research scientists at the Social Media Institute of Technology (SMIT) in Kolkata, India, say that Mr. Dixon and his family are not alone.  They have documented 342 confirmed cases of SM-FPA in 2007 and estimate the actual number in the thousands. [Read more…]

Trouble with Reddit? Here’s some tips from qgyh2, the Reddit Jedi Master

This is a repost of an article that still applies today despite being about 19 years old.

RedditSince the beginning of the year, I’ve been studying the major social news websites. Reddit, being one of the best ones, was obviously tops on my list. I did everything that seemed to work well on Digg, Propeller, Newsvine, and most other social media sites.

The results were different from the others. I was successful in the others. Needless to say, I wasn’t successful at Reddit.

My first technique was simple. Make friends, spam a lot, wait for the “Karma” to rise. It didn’t. Actually took a week to break 20. I wasn’t happy, but I kept trying.

I’ve discovered some tricks and tips, rising to a marginally respectable Karma around 1700 over several months. Most of those points have come in the last two. Still, I really couldn’t find rhyme or reason to what was working and what wasn’t. Stories that I thought would surely hit the homepage got down-modded to oblivion, while others that were decent stories at best got dozens, even hundreds of votes.

So, I asked. [Read more…]

Digg Recommendation Engine Enlarges the Gap between the Top Submitters and the Other Millions of Users

A Digg Analysis post on popFAIL reveals an alarming “widening of the gap” between the top users and the middle users. In the report, an analysis was done of the last 500 stories to reach the front page of Digg, a period that encompasses the lifespan of the Digg Recommendation Engine. The results are probably not what Digg had in mind.

31.4% of the stories that have hit the front page of Digg were submitted by 10 users.

Let me repeat.

Digg, the most visited social news voting site on the Internet with 26 million monthly visits has nearly one-third of its front page content submitted by 10 people.

Digg Front Page

[Read more…]