Understanding social news communities and how they work is paramount to defining the meaning life. You’re not going to nail it because it’s an evolving answer. But, like the meaning of life (i.e. religion, philosophy, Pink Floyd, etc.) there are always going to be folks trying to frame social news communities, behavior and success.
Dan Zarrella is a digital colleague I’ve come to know by participating on social news sites. He is one such person who is adding to the social media world today with an interesting report and some nifty little tools to better understand social news submissions on Digg.com. Dan’s report, entitled, “Link Attraction Factors” (click title for a PDF download) looks at articles that made the front page of Digg and which produced the most inbound links as a result.
He reports an inspiration to compile the report based on, “The fact that I’ve seen lots of reports like this about how to get to the front page, but nothing about what happens after that, and the real value to the front page is the links after all.”
A fantastic tool for the statisticians, analysts and SEO types out there, it’s a little over my head on statistical analysis. Reading through the document, however, I was able to glean some interesting nuggets. Just be careful as you read it and remember this is an analysis of the “viral” nature or popularity of a certain article once it made the Digg front page. Don’t read a couple of the charts and think, “Digg users don’t like sports and really hate tennis.” Because to be in this report, sports and even tennis had to have made the front page.
Dan does a nice job of breaking down the influence factors by category and even sub-topics. He dives into a nice array of information about certain keywords and how likely it was for an article to get inbound links for them in both the titles and descriptions. Turns out David Letterman is the king of all social media. “Top 10” in your description or title is a sure-fire way to attract attention. (And yes, I considered changing the title of this once I wrote that line.)
Perhaps the coolest outcome of Dan’s work, however, is his keyword toolÂ and title checker that test your keywords and full title against the data. For the record, “Quantifying Digg Popularity” has a very bad overall effect on this post’s chances of getting links after making the front page of Digg, somewhere in the -31 percent range. No, I’m not changing the title. I appreciate the research and think the title checker is very useful, but I don’t write posts about the top 10 ways to take iPhone pics of ubuntu while travelling. (A little Digg link attraction humor for you.)
If you’re Digg-obsessed, it will be worth your while to dive into Dan’s report and tools. When you do, please come back and tell us what nuggets your digging produced.
Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting:
- How Efficient Is Digg?
- Can You Guess Which Categories Make The Digg Home Page Most?
- Buried? Analysis Of A Digg Submission
- The Perpetual Hunt For The Front Page Of Digg Or Blogging For People Who Actually Engage With You?
- Digg Causes ED Among Social Marketers. Will It Now Go Limp Itself?