Digg Uproar: Digg This! Digg Day Cometh

Digg This, people!  There are a “few” (eyes rolling) blog posts out there about the current situation with Digg.  You may be interested in what people have to say about it.

I first advise people that if they want the latest then try going this article for the latest blogs:

Where To Post Digg Blog Today

Now for my comments on some of the latest blogs I’ve read on the issue.  (No, you’re not getting off that easy! LoL)

On the Pelikora Blog, there is an article called “Banned On Digg” by Koopa.  I found the article through Mixx through a submittal by k00pa called “Banned on Digg”. The heads up came through a notice I was sent email by Zaibatsu.

In the article the author admits to using a script and gives a little background of how he/she came to use the script.  The article states that the script that was used was called “Digg Friends Easier” and says:

“It is not a automatic “robot” script that diggs automatically. It just makes easier to digg friends stories. I don’t think that it is big problem.”

I am not familiar with this script, but I do assume that the script did not auto-digg posts (including the posts of friends) – it only lead the person to their friends posts through some type of search function.  If the script auto-dugg any item on Digg in anyway then it is automatically digging.  Koopla specifically states it didn’t “autodigg” and I have to believe that comment as true – at least until I find out otherwise (and quite frankly… I don‘t really care that much to go find out. LoL).

Koopla brought up several points that I feel may need addressing. The first pertains to the questions of:

“But why they don’t want that I share stories with my friends! Is it against the rules?“

I have not checked the Digg TOU in over a week, but odds are it is unchanged.  Digg is slow to alter their TOU, in fact I have been waiting over 4 months for them to add something to the TOU in order to make (at least) one banning they performed legit. (Shrug) I guess Digg thinks it’s God and can work in mysterious ways. 😉

The answer to these questions can be found in different places on the net that link to blogs of people who actually work for Digg (such as Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson, just to drop a few names).  The bottom line is that Digg preaches about ‘diversity’, even though the rules do not state a Digger has to digg everyone and every section of Digg equally… these people claim that Digg wants it’s users to be diverse   They apparently reward people for digging the posts of more than just their friends and/or digging items in more sections than just News or Technology.

So the answer, according to Digg, is not that it’s against the rules to only digg your friends stuff… it’s just a deal that you are more effective on Digg if you are diverse.

Balderdash!!! This exclamation will be addressed a little later, but the official Digg stance changes with the wind… or else those intelligent people, who most likely spent 4 years or more in college to get a degree, never master the skill of ‘interpersonal communications” enough to be able to get the ideas floating around in the head out of their mouth in a way that is comprehendible to most people.  There is so much confusion over the Digg policies that it’s pathetic and the main problem stems from Digg saying one thing, doing another and then trying to justify their actions when they are called on it.

Koopla also states:

“Then, why they can’t send a warning first that someone is doing something that they don’t like?”

In the 15 years, more or less, that I have been on one net or another and interacting in the various forums in some way… I’ve only seen one other “site” that handles the running of it’s forum(s) as poorly as Digg.  That’s pretty bad because in all that time there were many forums with some pretty shoddy administration practices.  I think the reason for them not warning is plain and simple “Laziness”.  They just don’t bother with setting up a system where they can notify members easily and they probably see no reason to do such a thing.

“Biggest issue is that I dont have any site where I can go. Digg is simple the best.”

Digg may be one of the better set up sites of it’s type on the net today, it may even be the best site of it’s kind on the net, but there is more to a site than “speed (or page load times)” or how “user friendly the site is” or even “how pretty it looks”.  The technical side of any forum on the net is only half the reason why a site is truly “The Best”, the other half lies in the way it is the administrators run the site and how they treat their members.

Mixx is most likely the premier site to go in today’s world of internet social sites, the people who run the site seem to be friendly enough and the site has a lot of the similar features that appear on Digg.   The best part is that Digg is only about a year old, I believe, and already it’s far superior to how Digg appeared around it’s first year (according the things I’ve read and seen).  The sky could be the limit on Mixx, but it depends on how well the members support the site as to how it develops.

There are other sites out on the net that are comparable to Digg as well, and some are not half bad. There may be new sites coming to the internet that seem “digg-like” as well, one of those sites is in Beta Format and is called “Nudgeville”.

The point is that no member of Digg should become so infatuated with the site that they think ‘it’s the only site to be on” or “it’s the best and always will be”.  The one thing I’ve learned over the past 15 years or so is that about the time people start pushing the idea that no site on the net could be any better than a particular site — something new crops up and blows the ‘popular’ site away.

Koopla goes on to say:

“Tips for users that haven’t yet got banned: Disable shout system, remove every single scripts that affects way of digg works. (maybe even adblock) Keep your recent diggs low. Do not shout or digg shouts you receive. Do not share stories with your friends.”

There are some good points in the “Tips” given by Koopla.  The first good point is concerning the removal of scripts that affects the way Digg works.  It is a good idea to be rid of scripts, first of all because they are unnecessary for the most part.

What if I could tell you how to Digg over 4,000 items a day on Digg, plus make a couple hundred comments and submit 20 or so items per day, without the use of bots or scripts?  Would you think I was nuts or lying through my teeth?  Would it be impossible for you to think a person could naturally do this without something to give them an unfair advantage? Read on before answering.

Now if you figure a person could do this feat, would you think that numbers like these would be sufficient to give you a real shot at going popular or making the front page on some of the items you submit?  Do you think it would give you a shot as challenging the Top 100 users for their spots on the Digg Top Users lists?

I am not talking about doing such a thing with-out Digg banning your activity and banning you, I am talking of the simple ability to do this all by hand (organically) and still sticking to the current Digg TOU.  Digg will say you are violating their TOU, but they would be wrong until the time they decide to put in the TOU what they sometimes claim is there.  Would you think this is impossible?

It’s not and all you have to do is utilize what Digg offers you on the pages of their Site.  All it takes is time and effort to do it… plus having a broadband connection that is moderately fast (about 300 or 400 K).  You also may need to have a little dexterity as well. J

It only takes seconds to digg an item and if you use the right pages you can digg around 15 items in about 10 -12 seconds.  It only takes a couple of minutes to submit a post and comments only take a few seconds each… unless Diggs stupid flash ads and such slow the process way down.  If a person can do that type of “Digging” with out a script then why does one really need these ‘cheats’ (providing the meet the requirements I previously stated)?  If you do either the bot thing or the mass digging thing… you are going to get banned anyway.  The fact is that you really don’t need scripts on Digg – so why risk it?

As far as keeping your Diggs low, this is good advice (at least for the time being).  In some comment somewhere I read where some person whining about “blind digging” made the comment of digging 300 posts was ‘blind digging’.  On Digg it seems if you digg 300 to 500 posts a day that you could escape the ban hammer… but that might have changed because you used to be able to digg 1,000 posts a day and Digg would virtually ignore it.  So the question is “What constitutes ‘keeping your diggs low’?   What’s the magic number?”  Apparently if you dugg 100 posts in an hour then someone would whine about you blind digging and if the whined enough then Digg probably would listen to them.  Although I agree with the idea of “keeping your diggs low”, I also have a problem with what number of diggs constitutes low.  I personally think, judging by Diggs past record, that this magic number would change with the wind.

The two Tips given that I mostly disagree with are the two that state:

Do not shout or digg shouts you receive.

Do not share stories with your friends.

Digging shouts you receive seems ok to do, however watch how many you digg at a time.  So far I know people that have dugg over 120 ‘shouts’ in about an hour and Digg hasn’t seemed to notice.  This equals about 2 shouts a minute.  My advice to one of the people was to slow that down a little more, if they could.  Take a little extra time to not only read the description and title, but also any comments.  If  at all possible then provide some comment to the item yourself, it doesn’t have to be something ‘earth shaking’ or ‘outstanding’ — just something that moderately relates to the topic.

I also found that it’s ok to shout your friends, the major problem lies in whether your friends like or hate the item you shouted.  Sometimes a friend will bury the item or complain to Digg that something is spam (whether it actually is or not) and that will cause problems.  One note that I am rapidly being convinced of is “Do not shout your own stuff”.  If you submit an item to Digg, or if the item is from your own blog or website, get someone else to shout it.  In return you can do similar things for them, but try to restrain from the same few people constantly doing such things for that activity show a ‘group effort’ type thing.

Remember, things can change rapidly at Digg.  I am sure there are people at Digg who do read these blog articles and notice what people say, this could be a catalyst in them changing their policies because they may view such ‘advice’ as ‘gaming the system’.  So play it by ear when you are on Digg.  Be diverse and strive not to be too obvious about things.  If you wish to get the maximum effects that you can get out of Digg… you have to be low key and smart.

In an article called “Digg Let Me Down… And Let Down Thousands of Others ” at Ning, Mo says:

“They banned me. Why? Because I used a script that helped me use my time more effectively. What is wrong with that? My time is precious to me.”

Everyone’s time is precious to them, or it should be.  Saying “My time is precious to me” is really no excuse for knowingly violating the rules of the system that you agreed to follow.  On the other hand Mo’s point of using your time more effectively has merit.  The members of Digg ought to be able to see things like who buried them (even though this could present problems of it’s own), how many items the member submitted were dugg by their friends individually, and other stats that helps the member of Digg in using the system more effectively.  Digg also ought to do other things that would enhance the member’s digg experience such as adjusting the number of friends to a level where the member can digg 4 or 5 posts from each friend or mutual a day with out running into the danger of entering the Ban Zone. There are a lot of things that Digg could do to assist their members, but Digg doesn’t seem to care about having flaws on the system that advocates users ‘blind digging” and such — then bring down the ban hammer on the person for ‘violating the TOU’.  So on this quote I agree and disagree with Mo.

Mo also states:

“I see Digg as the dullest knife in the drawer. The dumbest kid on the block. Digg doesn’t see that all the people they have banned forever are just everyday people that were supporting their cause. Digg isshooting themselves in the foot. I feel sorry for them because they are causing a level of fear. Fear is the one thing that the Gestapo used to control people. What is Kevin Rose thinking?”

I agree with what is said here by Mo, although I may have worded it differently. Lol  Digg is shooting itself in the foot and the problem seems to be because “Digg has not clue 1 concerning how to handle a forum on the net”. They seem more like a bunch of Technical Net Geeks with no idea of how to handle everyday people.

My general view of this blog post is “Mo Power to ya, Queenmoweeny!”.  The post is actually one of the better blogs I’ve seen in a couple days, whether I fully agree with her or not doesn’t matter.  She spoke her mind, hit the salient points and made her decision!  Cool beans!

Diggophrenia!

All of the preceding writing has a double purpose.  The first was to shamelessly plug a couple of the Blog articles I’ve read this morning… throw a bone to a few people to help them along.  The second was to use as a precursor to this section of my blog post.

If Digg was a person then it would be a good bet that it would be diagnosed as having some type of schizophrenia, I am not sure if it would be classified under the Paranoid or Disorganized subtype (but I am pretty positive it would be one or the other).  😉   The degree of split personalities that Digg seems to exude would rival Sybil (Sybil was supposedly a true and story of a woman possessed by sixteen separate personalities).  I think I provided some examples to show why I think that Digg suffers from a form of schizophrenia, there are plenty more examples out there to back this idea.

It seems that Digg is unable to set their mind on one way to be and stick to it.  This delusional state is the root cause of why so many of it’s members are confused or unclear upon many ponts in the Digg Policies.  You see this in the way Digg attacks ‘blind diggers’, yet they provide things like the ability to have 1,000 friends and the ability to mass digg.  It is also apparent in the way they have mistreated their Top Users and Best Users, then want to try to schmooze them into thinking Digg values them.  There are a lot of things wrong in the state of Digg, but Digg seems oblivious to the reasons why these problems exist and how to properly handle these problems.  It’s almost as if they live in an unreal world where the natural boundaries alter with each thought.

Digg needs to shape up or become a shadow of their former self.  They are driving their users away by the score and Digg seems to think that by a few simple pats on the back that everything will be ok.  Well more power to them if they can pull it off, but better sites than Digg went by the wayside over the years because of a broken trust between member and administration.

Digg needs to take serious steps in addressing the following issues:

1. Setting up a fair and just way of dealing with ‘suspected’ TOU violaters.
2. Setting up and developing a way of dealing with the Digg Mafia (Bury Brigade).
3. Ridding themselves of the idea that 4 Million Digg Members can equally support everyone else.

The Digg Revolution is real and it’s spreading.  More and more diggers are becoming disillusioned with Digg to the point of seeking new places that will treat them with respect and the consideration they deserve.  Digg was in a state of denial over this, but perhaps they no longer are kidding themselves over the extent of the problem. Time will tell.

My Response to J.D. Rucker’s Topics to be discussed

This is going to just be a direct answer to the questions and comments he proposed, one could probably infer these answers by reading this blog post in it’s entirety – but I don’t want to miss a step:

1) Recent mass-bannings of Digg users, new and old.

a) Were they justified? Digg posted on their blog, but otherwise, there was no communication, no warning.

Simple answer… No, they were not justified in all cases.  There are many reports of Digg making accusations and acting on those allegations as if the claims were true, even though the claims were false.

A simple solution to one of Digg’s problems is setting up a private message system on the site where private messages from Digg to specific members can be sent.  That PM system could be used to send a warning message concerning alleged TOU violations to the alleged violator. This can be their first step in the process of banning a member.

The second step in the process could be an E-mail to the person who is not changing their ways and give the warning that the next step is being banned for the offenses.

b) Should the bans be permanent? They weren’t submitting porn, threatening users, or any of the “felony” offenses.

A violation is a violation, if the TOU says ‘No Scripts and Bots allowed”, then it’s as bad to break that rule as it is to break the rule of “No Porn or Felony Offenses”.  On the other hand if a member uploads felony and porn to Digg, the Digger really hasn’t much of an argument in their defense.  The punishment could be swift and immediate ban on the user’s account… or the offensive material could be deleted on the first violation with a stern warning that the next time the person will be banned.

An infraction concerning the alleged use of scripts can be questioned, the mere fact Digg has banned users who did not use such things gives rise to the question of whether Digg’s way of judging if a member is using a bot or script is accurate enough for positive proof.

2) Recommendation Engine Limits: First, they bragged on their blog about how Diggs and submissions were up. Then, they limited the way that we can Digg. Which is it? Digg a lot, but don’t Digg a lot…

Digg’s Recommendation Engine is not the only problem that leads users into ‘Blind Digging” or “Mass Digging”.  The mere fact that Digg allows users to have 1,001 friends forces members to think that they have to digg at least one post per person per day.  Others think they have to Digg every shout one of their friends send.  All this leads to several hundred Diggs per day, or more, being done… and how do you do this legitimately if you only have a couple hours a day to be on the net?

Then you have the Upcoming and Popular pages where you can digg 15 or so items with in 10 or 12 seconds at a time.

On top of it you have shouts being yelled at you all day long and in many of the shouts people will put 2 to 5 shouts.  Other people will send you 9 or 10 individual shouts a day.  Many of these shouts have the pleading to go to a person’s faves and Digg their stuff.

This all leads to people feeling the need to support their friends, which could result in thousands of diggs a day.  Then you have Digg projecting the idea that you need to digg the items that other people, who are not on your friends list, submit.  It’s a real mess. Digg sets up the scenario that each digger has to digg everything, but they penalize you for trying.

3) Forum – Back in November, 2007, Jay and Kevin mentioned that they were working on a forum where Digg users and Digg employees could discuss issues. We’re almost at a year and it seems that we’re no closer.

The forum for discussion between members and staff isn’t really necessary, it’s a nicety.  Digg could circumvent it by putting a “News Scroller” at the top of the page to announce changes to the policies of the site and where to go read about them.  They also could set up a suggestions and comments thing where you type in what your idea is and send it off to some Digg mail address.  Digg could answer these things, place an announcement on the site to go to the Digg Blog, then be done with it all.  They don’t have to task people with sitting all day on some forum bantering with users about digg policy.

The point being that Digg should have a way for Member and Staff to communicate, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a Digg forum.

4) Whitelisted Sites – HuffingtonPost, Arstechnica, YouTube — Digg loves them. Newer sites – good luck! Should Digg have such a favoring of certain sites? Does it make it more of an RSS feed than a social news site?

Short answer.. No, as long as the site meets Digg’s TOU – all sites should be equal.  If a certain place wants special attention.. Give them an ad on the site or something.

Blogs About Digg

The following Blogs are all not written, or posted, my me. Some belong to people I have met on the net or know in real life.  My only regret is that I am not compiling all of the past articles and items posted about Digg… but you have to stop somewhere.

Remember that if you wish to read more of what others say about Digg, please go to:

Where To Post Digg Blog Today

This place will give you more links to follow, but you might have to go through the comments to find those links.

My Ramblings concerning Digg:

Digg Uproar:  Revolution Calling

Digg Uproar:  Where Have All The Top Users Gone?

Digg Uproar:  Is The Digg Revolution Underway?

Digg Uproar: Zaibatsu And The Digg Revolt

Digg Uproar:  Zaibatsu Banned!

Digg Uproar: Digg Bans Users

Digg Uproar:  Attack On Mr. Babyman And Blind Digging

Something Rotten In The State Of Digg

“Stop The Madness!” – Digg Buries Out Of Hand

How To Get More Diggs

World’s Largest Shout Number 1 For 3 Days

Other Blogs about Digg:

Digg Uproar: The Aftermath

Digg Uproar:  The Ban Hammer Falls Once Again

Digg Uproar:  What Is Blind Digging?

Digg Uproar: The Rebirth Of Zaibatsu

Digg Uproar: Zaibatsu Banned By Digg!!

The Digg Uproar Saga:  Mr. Babyman And Blind Digging Cited As Culprits

Google Bucket Test:  Does It Spell The End Of Digg?

Digg Uproar: An Interview With Ashmadai

Digg Uproar:  What’s Next For Digg?

Is This The End Of The Digg Mafia?

How To Get More Diggs? 2

Digg Uproar:  What’s Going On With Digg?

Another Digg Uproar

How To Get More Diggs 3

How To Get More Diggs

Diggteriorata –  Humor

Blog-a-Torium Blogs

Digg Uproar:  The Future Of Digg

Google Bucket Test Reveals Digg Mafia Buries

How To Get More Diggs 4

Banned Member LewP – Status Check

I’m Banned From Digg – Big Deal

My Take On Digg

Time To Act:  Call For Blog Posts About Digg 10-12-2008

The Decline Of Digg

The Ban Hammer Falls Again Over At Digg

One Of My Faves – Humor

I Was Banned From Digg… And For A Pretty Lame Reason

Where To Post Digg Blog Today

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2 Responses

  1. Let me be the first to congratulate you on such a comprehensive list of Digg articles Ashmadai. Excellent job and some excellent resources you have made available. I’m glad I found your blog.

  2. Thank you, Lew.

    One of these days I’ll find something more interesting to write about, in fact the US Elections are coming up in about 2 weeks and usually I write something on who is going to win the election during the week prior. Matter of fact, by this time, I am usually busy researching the topic heavily and making my first drafts and gathering my images and stuff to use. It’s just that this election is kind of boring to me. McCain has a real possibility of winning, but Obama is the guy I’ve been saying will win for 9 months. I see nothing to really change that opinion… thus it makes the whole topic sort of boring. lol

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