With over 40 million unique visitors per month (according to Compete.com) Digg is one of the most popular sites on the Internet. Getting an article on the Digg home page can send tens of thousands of unique visitors and generate hundreds of back links.
If Digg is a channel that makes sense for your internet marketing strategy, creating a power account or networking with Digg power users (to get them to submit your stories) is almost as important as the quality of content being submitted (and some might argue more important). However becoming a Digg power user requires time, commitment, and regular activity.
While there are excellent blog posts that detail how one might level the playing field with Digg, the goal of this post is to illustrate eight tools aspiring power users need in their arsenal.
These tools provide Digg user and submission data, activity monitoring, and communication channels Diggers use every day in achieving their goal of getting a story to the Digg front page.
The most comprehensive site for tracking front page data, history, and trends related to Digg. While SocialBlade’s lists of top Diggers surely gathers a lot of attention, it’s important to realize that each user and popular submission has data to drill down in as well.
Digg enthusiasts should also check out the Social Blade Show, which is broadcast via UStream on Thursdays at 10PM EST.
Brainnovate’s BiggBoard provides a real time dashboard for tracking Digg submissions. The site brings together a submissions visibility in primary and main categories “upcoming” sections as well as the current Digg home page.
Individual submissions on the BiggBoard identify votes, comments, and the approximate time left that the story has to go popular.
Having a network that reciprocates Diggs is essential for long-term success. FriendStatistics helps Digg users monitor who in their network is voting on their ten most recent stories, broken down by how often they did voted and if those votes were made prior to the submission going popular.
FriendStatistics also shows what Digg users outside of your network are digging your submissions as well; making it possible to add more qualified profiles and drop the “deadbeats” in your network.
There is an RSS feed for every Digg users submission history (http://digg.com/users/”INSERT PROFILE NAME”/history/submissions.rss). Google Reader provides one way to keep tabs on either your Digg network or Digg users you would like to network with.
Active Digg users monitor who diggs their submissions regularly and help them get to the Digg front page. Subscribing to the RSS feed of their submissions and digging them early is one of the best ways to get power users to notice you and (hopefully) add you to their network.
Social Media for Firefox provides social media users with access to several social sites, including Digg. A click of the Digg icon shows you if a web page has been submitted and how many Diggs it has. A second click let’s you submit the web page if no one else has already done so.
Digg Firefox Extension
Another Firefox add-on worth considering is the Digg Firefox extension. It offers a more comprehensive toolset for Firefox as well as updates on popular/recently submitted stories and your networks’ activity.
When Digg removed the shout feature they basically funneled all messaging traffic to Twitter. The Result: almost every active Digger has a Twitter profile that they often use for communicating submissions and/or promoting their network.
TweetDeck and Seesmic both have functionality for creating a specific Digg group within your Twitter following. This allows for a more streamlined focus when monitoring your Twitterstream.
There are those that create Twitter accounts exclusively for Digg (in addition to their personal Twitter profile). HootSuite is a Twitter application that provides for easy management of multiple profiles, as well as list function and tweet scheduling.
The main reason I choose this second is because I personally don’t like the OW.LY URL shortener (though you can just copy & paste a Digg URL instead), but the rest of HootSuite’s features come pretty close to compensating for this.
If your goal is to be active on Digg it’s essential to have at least one instant messaging account. Even before shouts were removed, power users had been using IM regularly; and even more so now that shouts are gone.
The benefit to Digsby and/or Trillian is that users can aggregate multiple IM accounts in one application.
I recommend Digsby ahead of Trillian because Digsby handles Google Talk, which is a fairly common IM client amongst Diggers. I’d also advise that if privacy is a concern, create separate IM profiles specifically for social news activity; which can all be aggregated using Digsby or Trellian (less Google Talk).
I only came across Digg Alerter recently even though it’s been around for quite some time. The stand-alone application allows users to monitor Digg profiles, their recent submissions, and the activity happening with those stories.
Active Diggers can use this tool either as a way to monitor their submissions or to get faster updates when someone either in their network or that they want in their network submits a new story. It’s a nice alternative, particularly if you prefer a stand-alone application.
There is no mistaking the fact that certain Digg users – Digg power users – have a greater chance of successfully hitting the home page than others. While the quality of content matters, so can the level of participation of the Digg user who submits the story.
Digg users with high activity levels, a strong network, and a history of success in getting stories popular are more likely to continue doing so.
But as indicated, the road to becoming a Digg power user is time consuming and challenging. Not only does one have to be incredibly active, but they need to be smart about how they invest their time as well. These tools have been incredibly helpful for me in my journey and hopefully they will help you as well.
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