As a relatively regular blogger on a couple of blogs, I've had the good luck to have several of my stories make it to the digg front page. As such, I often have people ask me what the secret formula is for having a story make the front page of digg. The honest truth is, I don't know. I haven't come up with any sure-fire ways to ensure that your brilliant article will get dugg up to the front page.
However, I do know what I think are reasonably effective ways to ensure that your digg story gets buried. As it turns out, getting a story buried is much easier to do than getting a story on the front page -- so I thought I'd write about that instead.
7 Sure-fire Ways To Lose Friends And Get Your Story Buried On Digg
#1. Write a title that makes it clear that the story is SPAM: It is not sufficient to simply write a crappy title. Crappy titles are much too easy to ignore. What you want is a title that will motivate a pool of digg users to take time out of their busy days and come bury your story. However, some subtlety is required. If it's too obvious that it's spam, you might fail to get buried because everyone believes the story is so obviously spam that a bunch of other people have alreay buried it. The key is to find the right balance to ensure that people will take action.
#2. Write a description with a sales pitch: Of course, the title can only go so far. You might be able to lure a few digg users before their morning cup of coffee into doing what is morally right and visiting the story to burying you. But, now you need to close the deal. Make the description some sort of salesy "call to action".
#3. Suggest that Bill Gates is Cooler Than Steve Jobs: No more needs to be said.
#4. Suggest that Steve Jobs is Cooler Than Kevin Rose: This one is a bit more nuanced than #3. As it turns out, only 23% of the digg user base actually believes that Kevin Rose is cooler than Steve Jobs. But, this is a sufficient number to get a story buried. As it turns out, you can't reverse this and try to get the other 77% to bury you by saying Kevin Rose is cooler. Those people are way too pragmatic and sure of themselves to come waste time burying your article.
#5. Use Your Own digg Account: Often, you do a decent job at #1 and #2 above, and get some good burying activity. But, you don't really generate the comment flames and name-calling that you could have. One way to achieve a higher level of vitriolic response is to make sure you post your story from your own digg account. As it may not be obvious you're posting your own story, you can write the description in the first person so they know for sure it's you.
#6. Make This Your First Submitted Story: Some digg users that have recently had some "happy moments" might make the mistake of cutting you some slack before they decide what a schmuck you really are. One way they'll do this is to check out your history and see what kind of other stories you've submitted or comments or voted on. Make sure you haven't voted on anyone else's article and if you have submitted other articles, they should follow these guidelines too.
#7. Leave Some Crappy Comments On Your Own Story: Ideas for actually coming up with appropriately crappy comments is beyond the scope of this article.
Bonus #8. Never, ever write about Google, Apple or digg itself: Doesn't matter how well you do at the seven items above, but if you make the mistake of including any of these companies in your story title, description or somehow make a passing but glowing reference you greatly diminish your chances of being buried.
Of course, nothing in life is guaranteed. But, if you follow the steps above, you've got a decent chance of having a sure-fire loser of a story. Let me know if I missed any and leave them in the comments.