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August 24, 2008

The 7 Most Vexing Would You Rather Questions for Bloggers

“I’d rather have a blog in front of me than a frontal loblogomy.” – who knows? (Aaron?)

What’s blogging without a little ambivalence?

Without further ado, we present to you the 7 most frustrating “Would you rather?” questions, blogging style.

1. Would you rather the worst blog post you’ve ever written stay on the front page of Digg for a week or the best blog post you’ve ever written get zero Diggs?

There’s no such thing as a dumb WYR question. Right? read more

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May 26, 2008

Reddit Gets a New Look, Still Hates Me

Filed as News with no comments

While my blogs have experienced some community link love, I’ve never been fortunate enough to have the Digg-effect overload my server like a Ritalin kid on crack sugar. I can tell you that one social site that has never sent me an iota of traffic is Reddit. Perhaps their algorithms simply don’t like me – or maybe my content just sucks. I’ll let you decide.

Showing my objective-nature, I will not hold a grudge and will tell you about Reddit’s much-needed, well overdue redesign (the first such change since 2005).

The gang at Mashable have outlined the notable changes:

– The top navigation bar has been re-styled, and now includes a link to the site’s “most controversial” stories (stories with both a lot of up and down votes).

– On the right, you can now customize Reddit based on the topics you want aggregated on your homepage. Just check and un-check the categories you want included/removed.

– Links for creating your own Reddit and submitting a link to the site are much more obvious (also on the right sidebar)

– Story links have been re-styled – it’s not a dramatic change, but it’s easier on the eyes and includes links to comments, saving, hiding, and reporting.

One thing is dramatically clear: Reddit is easier on the eyes. Since I don’t expect the site to suddenly fall in love with my content, I’ll chalk this up to putting some makeup on an average looking woman.

Has anyone out there ever experienced a bump in traffic from Reddit?

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May 2, 2007

So Who’s In Control of DIGG?

Filed as News with 4 comments

The latest buzz on the blogosphere lately is the “revolt” (if you may call it that) of Digg users against what they considered to be a violation of the very nature of Digg itself. Here’s a brief recap via AP/NY Times and BBC News.

An entry containing the encryption key of HD-DVD (which allows users to break the copy protection of HD-DVD discs) was frontpaged. Shortly after, this and similar entries were buried–or taken off the front page and basically hidden from most searches–and the accounts of the submitters were suspended. DIGG’s CEO Jay Adelson later on explained that these actions were done to avoid potential lawsuits by the Advanced Access Content System, “the owners of this intellectual property,” who got in touch with Digg and other sites saying they “believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights.” He added that the suspension and burying were part of Digg’s terms of use and stressed that Digg was not immune from lawsuit and must abide by law.

However, the Digg community, perhaps used to the notion of the community itself having the power to determine what happens to the entries (frontpaged, buried, or simply ignored), acted strongly against what they felt was censorship on the part of Digg. The community also took the HD-DVD Promotion Group‘s sponsorship of Digg’s DiggNation podcast as possibly the real reason behind the banning, and accused Digg of being a sell-out. Users then revolted by flooding the site with entries relating to the encryption key, which filled the front page. Some of these entries garnered record Diggs or votes, even (screencap here). read more

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April 24, 2007

Is Your Blog On MySpace News Yet?

Add another one to the pile. MySpace is the latest of the big players to adopt the socially driven model for news delivery. Being one of the top 10 most visited sites on the web, its natural to expect a lot from such an offering. It also begs the question, with a user count that is an order of magnitude higher than all other social news sites, can MySpace News be more relevant?
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April 17, 2007

Social News Idea Grab Bag

Here’s a list of ideas I’ve had over the past year or so while using social news sites. Most of them are ideas that I think would improve sites like Digg, Netscape and Reddit in one way or another. Admittedly, one or two of them would just be interesting to see implemented on an experimental level. Either way, feel free to rip each and every one to bits.

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April 12, 2007

Chitika study suggests Digg traffic 3 times less likely to click ads than Google traffic

Filed as News with 3 comments

Recent analysis of 31 days’ worth of Chitika log data by Alden DoRosario showed something that many of us are already aware of: Traffic from Digg translates badly into ad clicks.

Looking at over a billion Chitika ad impressions and millions of clicks in the server log showed that, at least during the immediate and direct effect of a site being Dugg, visitors were over three times less likely to click on a Chitika ad than a visitor coming in from a Google search result.

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Thoughts on Citing the Original Source

Filed as Uncategorized with 6 comments

It’s a well-accepted practice among bloggers to link to the original source of information, and even to cite sources in appropriate markup (like blockquotes) whenever necessary. After all, in lieu of in-depth research and investigation, we do this to cite our sources of information, and also to give credit where credit is due.

However, amid all the goings-on in the echo chamber, sometimes it gets difficult to determine where information really originates. Sometimes it’s convenient to cite articles from the mainstream media, such as online newsmagazines and newspapers. Sometimes, it’s convenient to link to your trusted friends. But if the original source is identifiable, shouldn’t we link there, instead? read more

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April 3, 2007

Niche Social News Sites

Have you ever tried to participate on one of the big social news sites and found that you just didn’t fit in? Perhaps the problem is the level of conversation. Perhaps it is the community’s main interests. Did you know there are a world of alternatives out there which cater to niche interests, each with its own unique community. read more

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March 28, 2007

What Makes a Good Social Newsie?

It takes a certain type of personality to climb the ranks on sites such as Digg (I know, I know, they don’t have ranks anymore). Here are some traits that are common among the most active social newsies.

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March 21, 2007

Everyone And Their Brother Going Social

A snowball has been growing over the past month. Big players are creating Digg-style social apps left, right and center. I’ve been waiting for the snowball to slow down so I could write a piece on all them, but it just keeps growing and gaining momentum. So I decided to just go for it. I wonder how many new ones will pop up before I finish writing…this…sentence.

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