How will Social Bookmarking sites evolve?

Seth Godin recently commented about the end of Digg, because many marketers are abusing the system to get traffic to their site.

Sometimes they do this in ways that most of us would consider ethical (hey, please Digg this post if you think it’s worthwhile) while others are hiring clickfarms in India to do it for them. The leverage is just so great, it’s irresistible (in some categories, just a few hundred Diggs is enough to work your way up to the top).

Its so ugly, isn’t it?

In one of my previous posts – Stop digging your own blogs posts, I mentioned about domains getting banned from Digg. I think social bookmarking sites are doing things to stop social bookmarking spammers, but is it working well enough?

Seth mentioned in his post that it is tough, and I would agree – spammers are tough to kill because of the multitude of ways they are using to bypass the original intended use of the system, and then use their lowly tactics to get traffic… but he also mentioned that social bookmarking is here to stay, and it will evolve.

Looking at the way social bookmarking sites work now, I guess most regular visitors will be turned off by these spammers and never visit these social bookmarking sites again. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in these spammers minds – out here there are so many complaints about spam and stuff, but yet why do people still do it? Is the issue about the proper education? I mean, do these spammers actually know they are littering on the net?

How do you think things will change over the next year? How will social bookmarking sites evolve to eradicate these spammers? Is there actually a way to do so? Maybe Digg needs to force their user to identify themselves using a retina scan before they are allowed to submit an article, or something like that? :mrgreen: Gosh… would there be a market for real eyeballs then? :mrgreen:

Stop digging your own blogs posts

Neil from Pronet Advertising commented a few days ago about How Not To Get Your URL Banned From Digg. Well that is one article that I felt great reading.

He said:

Here are some of the things that the Digg community considers spam:

  1. Old news
  2. Repeated stories that keep on getting submitted, such as “iPod Spoof Commercials”.
  3. Stories that provide basic information such as “How To Increase Your Blog Traffic”. Although many of these types of stories hit the Digg front page, a lot of diggers hate them and are making noise about them by marking them as spam, or even emailing the Digg staff.
  4. Stories submitted by website owners.

Note the last point!

Since the start of the blog, I’ve emphasised that the best way to get good traffic is to do it the right way – through genuine linking and helping other websites achieve what they want to achieve. Think about it, if YOU set up Digg, would you like bloggers to start submitting every post to you everyday? I’ve even read of programs that does everything automatically! Its utterly disgusting! 😡

There is also another similar story about getting banned on Digg on the MU Life.

The main objective of Digg is to highlight quality articles. Its called a social bookmarking site for a reason. Its for other people to share your content! Website owners are not meant to Digg their own articles. If that were the case, it would be called a “Shameless Self Bookmarking” site. :mrgreen:

The only reason why your article should appear on Digg is that your visitors must have found it of extreme quality, and wants to share it with the world. 🙂 Remember! Stop digging your own blogs posts!

Social Bookmarking Icons

Social BookmarkingProblogger Darren Rowse recently wrote a post about having those social bookmarking icons at the bottom of every blog post, and if they are worthwhile. He was referring to another post by 37 signals, which advocates quality content.

But really, social bookmarking is a crazy thing now on the Internet. You have Digg, Reddit,, Furl, Newsvine… I won’t even bother to name more… there is even one page on Digg right now, talking about submitting your page to 50 social bookmarking sites.

Do I find those little icons useful? For me, yes, I’m a lazy blogger remember? Well, I like these cute little icons at the bottom because they help me do my stuff a little faster. When I like an article I read, this is a good and easy way to recommend it to the world. Also, they spice up the page a little.

What about Traffic?

I have added my own icons a while ago (I used the WP-Notable plugin, if you’d like to know), hoping to help others who visit my site.

But if you’d ask me if they helped me bring in traffic – I’d say, not really. I think eventually, like what Matt on Signal vs. Noise said, it really boils down to the content. You can submit your article to a million of bookmarking sites out there, but nobody is going to vote for you if your article is just full of crap.

I know my content is not viral enough… yet! :mrgreen: I’m learning everyday to improve on that!

People want quality content. Period. And, search engines want what people want… well, at least in their vision. :mrgreen:

So, both hands up for what Matt said:

… think twice before badgering readers with “vote for me” pleas. The hectoring is tiresome, it results in extraneous visual noise, it makes your site look cheap, and the benefits are dubious at best. Instead, focus on delivering great content. If you do, people will figure out how to spread the word just fine.

Erm… Content is King!… need I say more? 🙂

Spam Bookmarkers

To be frank, I’ll am quite disgusted to know that some bloggers submit each and every of his articles to all the bookmarking sites. To make it worse, I’ve read of some auto bloggers (people who just aggregate content from elsewhere) who do that. It just sounds too spammy. Disgusting. Spoils the blogosphere and the “social-bookmarkopshere”… whatever you call it. 😡

Unless you are writing for CNN news or things that are really breaking news, or really helpful or informative stuff – I think all else is not bookmark-worthy. Oh man… if only I could invent a device or thingy to just clear up all the spammy stuff on the Internet!

Google!, Yahoo!, MSN! Work hard! I believe technology will prevail! Clear those junkies out of the way!

What do you think?