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What is Digg.com and why is this thing I’ve never heard of so important to PlusNet?

What is Digg.com and why is this thing I’ve never heard of so important to PlusNet?

What is Digg.com and why is this thing I’ve never heard of so important to PlusNet?

I’ve mentioned before about the website digg.com; it’s a community driven social bookmarking website that has total community editorial control. The guys behind digg.com rarely contribute editorial content, they just provide the framework and the users do the rest. It’s in the top 100 most visited websites on the Internet; if you haven’t heard of it, you need to know about it. Digg.com truly is a barometer for what’s going on out on the Internet right now; what’s hot and what’s piquing the interest of the community out there. You just can’t argue with a 100% community controlled editorial and rating system. What Digg.com provides completely fits the PlusNet model. We have always acquired new customers on the back of community conversation and as a result, PlusNet has probably spent around £200,000 total in the last ten years on “marketing” (in the traditional sense). We have always been firm believers in acquiring new customers through community referral; this approach goes back way before Web2.0 and the "Cluetrain Manifesto" were even coined. You can go back to PlusNet press-releases of 2001 to see how our thoughts back then are identical to the ethos we continue to this day: PlusNet Launch Referral Scheme So, back to digg.com; how does it work? Well, a user, any user, you included, can submit a story to digg.com. You can submit anything you want; literally. You submit a URL (the web address), a title, description and a category (from a provided list). Then, you just sit back and wait. People from all over the world will stumble across your story, click your link, go and read it, put a comment against it (or reply to someone else’s comment) and then choose to give it the “thumbs up” or the “thumbs down”. If you get enough "thumbs up" – or Diggs – your story will make it onto the front page of the digg.com website. If this happens then you really need to be hoping that the owner of the website hosting your story has got some pretty beefy web servers in place to handle the number of hits they are going to get. A digg.com front-page story is likely to get in the region of tens of thousands of hits per minute for the duration of its popularity. There’s even a term for this; "The Digg Effect", (or "Slashdotted" as it used to known back in the day when slashdot.org was a popular website doing a similar thing to digg.com). More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digg_effect So, how can we use the power of digg.com for the benefit of PlusNet? Well, we’re actually doing this already, albeit not as successfully as we could. Have a look at one of the blog entries on our community website and you’ll see a small “Add this story to digg” button at the end of the story. If you’re the first person to click this button you’ll have the pleasure of adding that story to digg.com yourself. If someone else got there before you then it will take you directly to that story on digg.com. Check out this link for an example: http://community.plus.net/webportal/2007/06/22/when-good-sites-go-bad/ So, at PlusNet we need to be ensuring that we submit all our blog posts to digg.com and also that we all "digg them" by giving them the thumbs up. If enough PlusNet staff members and members of the PlusNet community do this then we may get a story on the digg.com front-page and the resultant hundreds of thousands of extra viewers that will see it; you simply can’t buy this sort of exposure (well, not with the marketing budget we work with at PlusNet). However, we need to be true to the spirit of digg.com and not digg stories that we do not rate. I’m not suggesting we resort to "playing the system" or any other sort of subterfuge (there are specific sites to do that for you!), but by staff members giving the story the kick-start it needs, the worldwide community will start to see the story and judge for themselves if it’s worth digging. Once Nagios goes bright red on the line that monitors the Community site we’ll know we’ve made it. Sign up for a digg.com account and get digging! http://digg.com/register Matt Grest Head of Future Development PlusNet plc http://digg.com/users/mgrest

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