What I learned from my first attempt to get Dugg

Analysis,Digg by on December 3, 2006 at 10:01 pm

I submitted a post to digg on the Google Holiday gifts, hoping that it would be Dugg. As far as I can tell, I was the first person on the net to post a picture of the Google present, although someone had already posted the specs on a Webmasterworld thread. My post didn’t hit the front page, but several days later a very similar one did. My instincts were right (that the content was interesting to Digg users), but my execution was off.

Here is my submission:

Google’s 2006 Holiday Gift to Publishers – See a Photo (11 diggs) submitted by davenaff 5 days ago (via http://www.naffziger.net)
Google is sending out LCD photo frames to Publishers. Check out a picture of the Google Holiday package – it looks like they are preparing to send this out worldwide.
Here is the submission that hit the frontpage (submitted two days later):
Here it is: ‘The 2006 Google Christmas Card’ (747 Diggs)
submitted by CLIFFosakaJAPAN 3 days ago (via http://www.neatorama.com)
What do you have to do to get on Google’s Christmas card mailing list? Shawn Hogan describes the gift he received, a digital photo frame. I feel a little jealous…

I learned a few things:

  • Write titles that appeal to a broad audience – I narrowed the audience by using the words ‘for publishers’. The successful post title was unclear about who would receive a google holiday card (or that it was even something physical). Heck, for all the reader knew, they too could receive the Google holiday card.
  • Ask a question – Asking a question in the description encourages interaction and user comments – especially if the user knows the answer (and thinks the submitter doesn’t). It also makes users think about the story more. My most successful AdWords campaigns would combine a question with a call to action. I wonder if the same thing applies here.
  • Be active – Ideally get a top Digger to submitCLIFFosakaJAPAN is the #5 digg user. The top Digg users must be getting pitched stories, and if they aren’t I’m sure they will in the future. A story submitted by a top user has a much greater chance of getting to page 1. I wouldn’t be surprised if these pitches aren’t that sophisticated and I highly doubt that many PR agencies have established relationships with them (they should).
There is a ton of good content on the web about submitting to Digg, but these were my first takeaways and I felt it was useful to highlight them with a real-world successful/unsuccessful example.


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