How Corrupt is the Digg Home Page?

"Digg Throat" Shares Some Secrets

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[ Social Media]

DiggA top Digg user with a popular ratio of 34% has been getting paid well for promoting articles on Digg. His/her popularity has allowed numerous stories to reach the Digg Home Page, and when that happens he/she gets paid even more.

Invesp scored an interview with this person (who wishes to remain anonymous; for the purpose of this article, let’s call them "Digg Throat"), and provides quite an interesting look into the behind-the-scenes world of Digg marketing and social media marketing in general. 

"I have worked for many popular blogs and I know most top users do," explains Digg Throat. "As of now I am involved with three blogs/companies that I regularly help with social media promotion, especially on Digg. To put it in short : my status and reach within the community allows me to help businesses leverage their opportunities by reaching a different crowd and a large crowd for that matter."

Digg Throat has been charging up to $700 per article for his/her promotion, and if a particular item reaches Digg’s home page, he/she gets another $500. Now that’s some easy money. Too bad it’s frowned upon by Digg, and Digg users alike. However, paid promotion is just a fact of Digg. It’s not a surprise, and users who have a real problem with it, will likely just find another site to read. Besides, is this really that much different than paying PR staff to push your message?

Digg Home Page

What is Digg to do though?

"Digg should strongly consider placing clearly labeled advertisements within the news stories," says TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington. "Even as paid ads they’ll get a ton of traffic and Digg can charge accordingly. TechMeme, a tiny site in comparison, has done this successfully for some time. If Digg can’t stop its users from making a little money on the side, they may as well get in on the game."

Something like this could work for Digg. It could incorporate spots into ad campaigns with existing clients like YouTube allegedly does with its promoted videos. Digg users may not be too enthusiastic about such a scenario though.

Something tells me Digg is going to be doing some investigating. They ought to be able to at least narrow down the number of possible suspects for Digg Throat’s identity. He/she may have wished to remain anonymous, but may have still given enough information away for Digg to figure out who they are. This may not do much to combat that problem of what some would refer to as "Digg Spam", but I’m sure they would like to at least get closer to the bottom of it.

How Corrupt is the Digg Home Page?
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  • http://www.JobsBlog.ie Ivan | JobsBlog.ie

    Think about it! If you hae an account on any social networking site. Especially the profesional networkin ones like LikedIN. And you are an expert in your field. And you get a mail – asking you to reccomentd someone. And you get $1000 in cash in return.

    Would you do it?

    The (honest) answer is the root of the problem. :) 

    • Chris Crum

      You’re right….I’m sure it’s not limited to Digg.

  • http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk Marketing Minefield

    It’s only natural that ‘power users’ will be approached by companies and of course most will accept cash in return for a recommendation.

    I just don’t understand why Digg doesn’t introduce sponsored links. If they’re clearly highlighted I can’t imagine that too many people will have a problem with them, or alternatively just confine the sponsored links to the bottom of each page.

  • Guest

    Just take a quick look here

    subvertandprofit dot com

  • Guest

    This is not surprising.  The wealthy often abuse such ‘systems’ because they are able to find people who don’t have any moral integrity to do their dirty work for them.

    Yes, I am saying this is dishonest; and without a doubt unfair to every Digg user.

    In my opinion, anyone who is doing this should have their account suspended, because they are monopolizing Digg, and therefore cheating honest users out of traffic. 

  • http://dietdon.com Fat Butt

    I’m sure this article is directed to the small people who really have great content that would be recognized if given the EEP act.  The Equal Opportunityof Posting which seems to lock them out of exposure.

    The power players already know this and they decide what and when to place their articles on homepage automatic pilot.

    As we small timers actually work harder to create dynamic material and insight we are constantly elbowed out of the way and watch some of the strangest things rise to the top of everyone’s searching eyes.

    Surprise me with something Surprising because I am definitely not Surprised by this.

  • http://www.foursquareinnovations.co.uk/ SEO guy Leeds

    whoa looks like something blew up!

    yeah I’d do it, who wouldn’t, but Digg is just so twee and condescending – the equivalent of the MS Office paper clip in the social bookmarking world. I feel like strangling that little blockheaded man every time I get another twee, pseudo-friendly message.


  • http://TravelSiteCritic.com Pamela

    I’m a newbie (with good content).  So, I do find this enlightening.  Disheartening.  Discouraging…..

    They should be banned. But, good luck finding them.

  • http://www.dynamicleather.com Dynamic Leather

    Well, we sell leather motorcycle jackets online. We pay people to optimize & stuff like that. So on our part, it’s fine but if SEO compay pay to somebody to do any illegal things, it’s not good….

    Simply ban those users…………


  • http://ebnetr.com Eb

    The Net is one big commercial from article marketing to sponsored blog posts to bought and paid for testimonials. Unless we’re willing to put up with some seriously restrictive regulations, it’s not going to change.

    The big draw is all that money that people spend on the Net. The big problem is getting noticed when you’re one of millions. I haven’t and wouldn’t buy my way into Digg or anywhere else, but I do use article marketing. Chump that I am, I actually try to write articles that inform and – on my blog – I even write posts that give away information I could sell.

    If I have to compete with bogus but powerful Diggs I might as well fold my tent. However, I do wonder what happens when people buy the product that the merchandiser has to buy Diggs to promote. If it’s as sleazy as their "ad campaigns", perhaps buying Diggs won’t be as popular somewhere down the road.


    All the best,


  • Guest

    Not surprised at all… often suspected this practice myself.  Money begets money, especially on the internet.  The big advertisers with deep pockets will always have more money than the little man to make things happen.  From digg to ebay, the list goes on…

  • http://www.93south.net David

    While in rome….

  • http://www.shoutwire.com ShoutWire.com

    A very nice and informative article.  I approve, and karma sucks, ey Kevin?

  • http://mikevolpe.com/contact Mike Volpe

    From a marketers perspective, this has a solid ROI.  Getting to the homepage of Digg can result in a ton of traffic and inbound links.  Anyone who is one of these paid Diggers, please contact me. I will pay attractive prices based on success.

  • http://marketsecrets.us Caleb

    I see nothing wrong with this as its all a part of doing a good public relations job.

  • Guest

     The sooner Google buys Digg the better, the Digg Nazi’s have been doing s**t like this for years

  • http://www.flowersbypost.com Flowers Guy

    has been corrupt like this for a long while.

    But thats all things in life, get over it.

  • http://www.slicknfresh.co.uk Mr Brainz


    Digg has banned the posting of the original interview.

    This URL has been widely reported by users for one of the following reasons: being used to spam Digg’s submission process, posting spam content, or posting off-topic content

    Oh dear Digg… Not good….

    • http://teasastips.com TeasasTips

      Digg is like the emperor without any clothes on….they don’t want to know whats going on….

  • http://www.parkerenindestad.nl Parkeren

    Haha, great article.

  • http://www.thetemplateshack.com WebsiteTemplates

    The practice is not illegal but I’m sure it is against Digg’s terms of use policy. I’m sure there is a way to track such activity (voter’s activity), whether Digg is watching or really cares is another story.

  • http://www.yomi11.com Olatokunbo Gbolade

    I really don,t see much of a problem with it,on the upside they both provide a service to each other,one gets paid for articles that he/she{couldn,t resist a taste of the mystery}would otherwise have written for free,whilst he/she gets extra money to buy cigars or lingerie{depending on he/she,s prefence]the other i:e Digg gets good articles,that sometimes make the front page for free.As far as i am concerned it,s a win win situation and much ado about nothing.

    • http://www.highton-ridley.co.uk Mark Highton Ridley

      Try s/he – it’s less clumsy :)

  • http://www.jonathanboettcher.com Jonathan

    Dugg for Digg Throat.

    What kind of a pseudonym is that anyways? Did you guys make that up? LOL.

  • http://www.dongelmodem.nl dongel

    Luckily their are alternatives to Digg… Like uhm…. let me google this.

  • Jeffrey Pipes Guice

    I’m interested in reaching social network websites who are interested in trading equity for a $10,000,000 media campaign.

  • http://www.seo4jobs.com Jonathan Duarte

    I’m suprised that people think this is something new. What rock have you been under???

    This is called Internet Marketing… do what ever you can to get traffic, hopefully qualified traffic, at a cost that allows you to make a profit.

    This is just like hiring a PR person, just probably cheaper and you’ll get a better ROI!!!

    Additionally, it is interesting that Digg has yet to create a sponsored listing feature. Even PRNewswire and other sites, have done the same.

  • http://www.daarzijnweweer.nl Guest

    there have been sites popping up around the net where you can have your posts or site digged by users who then get paid for digging your content. But if just everyone ignores this guys diggs, wouldn’t he just disappear?

  • http://www.id8tion.com Sean Carter

    That’s what happens in a free market society.

  • http://www.selfpublishforprofit.blogspot.com JaWar

    Thank you for the blog.

  • http://www.googleradioblogs.com StreetBloggers

    Not many make it to stardome on digg but this internet marketing has been going on for a long time.


    Newsvine , digg if you are caught self promoting as I been caught a few times they will disable your account, but this guy is just making some cash from others not self promoting,


    Digg sucks anyway

  • http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=%22Dr+Blockbuster%22&meta= Dr Blockbuster

    True … Dr Blockbuster did watch "All the Presidents Men" again this week … but I strenuously deny being Digg Throat.  :wink:

    Dr Blockbuster doesn’t deny "Being a Scot", and he’s still a Virgo like Sean Connery too!  How’s that!

    Dr Blockbuster
    Networks & Forums



  • http://www.worldwideresource.co.uk Guest

    any platform with potential adverting exposure is bound to be abused

  • http://fightface.blogspot.com/ Fight Face

    Not illegal but quite underhand? Make money from anything these days

  • http://car2be.com/ used bmw z3

    Something like this could work for Digg. It could incorporate spots into ad campaigns with existing clients like YouTube allegedly does with its promoted videos. Digg users may not be too enthusiastic about such a scenario though.

  • http://www.soccerballs2football.com/ soccer balls

    every body tries to take advantage of his position, if a digger has huge popularity he can definately cash in, although ethically its not good.

  • http://www.soccerballs2football.com/ soccer balls

    if you ask me its not good, ethically it is not right but its life and some people get away with it.

  • http://webuserblog.com/ MassimoUA

    I want to be popular on digg.com

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