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Digg It – Social News & The Network Effect

that had launched their redesigned, Digg-like home page. It looks like they’ve by offering to switch services. The controversy highlights the one element that makes social news sites like Digg hum: a critical mass of community members. In this case, the focus is on Netscape’s lack of such a community.

Briefly, if you’re not familiar with social news sites, here’s how they work: You submit a story to them and then the community can vote them up or down. The most popular stories make it to the front page. A blog post, for example, that makes it to the front page of Digg to that blog.

Social news sites demonstrate day and and day out the network effect that these new community-centric technologies propagate. A little popularity goes a long way, especially if a story is picked up by the right people, those who have a large circle of online "friends." SEOmoz.org points this phenomenon out that demonstrates that are responsible for 56% of that site’s home page content.

You’ll notice that, like many blogs, mine includes links to make it easy for people to Digg my posts (see the "Add to" links below). It’s worthwhile to include such links with your posts but, , the more you actively participate at Digg, the more likely your submissions will make it to the front page.

Membership, it turns out, has it’s privileges.

P.S. Digg recently launched two tools to watch stories on the site in real time. displays popular stories as they are "dugg" and allows you to see historical data on a given story to see how many "diggs" it got over time.  draws a circle for stories as they’re "dugg."

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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