What Everybody Ought to Know About Being a Top Digger

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[Chris Winfield](http://www.10e20.com/author/chris) from 10e20 wrote an interesting article yesterday on [how to become a top Digg user without doing anything shady](http://www.10e20.com/2007/03/06/how-to-become-a-digg-top-user-without-doing-anything-shady/). The purpose of the article is to teach you how to become a top user so you can increase your odds of promoting stories to the homepage. As a [top Digg user](http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117106531769704150-zpK10wf4CJOB4IKoJS5anuNoi6Y_20080209.html), I feel that the most people don’t understand the difference between a top Digg user and a normal user.
As a top Digg user you usually have hundreds of users who “friended” you, thus many of them vote blindly on your submissions. Because of this it is easier for top users to get more votes, but this doesn’t really make it easier for a top user to get stories promoted to the homepage. Digg’s algorithm takes votes from friends into account which is why many of the top users require more votes before their submissions hit the homepage, while normal users require a lot less votes. I have experienced a few cases where I submit a story and a normal user submits the same story from a different source and gets to the homepage before me. The submission titles and the descriptions were very similar, but the submission from the user with 0 friends reached the homepage first.
A few months ago Digg did not behave like this and it was really easy for top users to get stories to the homepage. Digg is evolving their algorithm and as time goes on they will probably try to make it equally difficult for top users and normal users to promote stories to the homepage.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.
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  • http://www.hmtk.com HMTKSteve

    Just one more reason not to use Digg’s friend feature!

  • http://www.10e20.com Chris Winfield

    Hi Neil –
    Thanks for the mention. I agree that the algorithm has evolved to take ‘friend diggs’ into account but I don’t agree that it is an even playing field yet (and personally I think that’s good).
    “I have experienced a few cases where I submit a story and a normal user submits the same story from a different source and gets to the homepage before me.”
    But I wouldn’t say this is the norm (few cases – yes). I have seen more cases where a more powerful user submits the same story (even hours later) and that one will make the homepage first.
    There are no absolutes but from my own experiences (and I think yours too) – the more powerful your account is, the easier it is to make the homepage (still).

  • http://www.xuru.com Jeremy Luebke

    Ill take being a top user over a normal user ANY day. Normal users just don’t consistently get enough diggs to do what a top user can.
    A top user can with almost certainty get link bait to the home page. The same link bait may or may not get any traction for the same story. People are sheep. The amount of blind diggs a storyw ill get after it reaches 20 diggs is astronomically higher then the number it gets before then.

  • http://www.pronetadvertising.com Neil Patel

    Mihai, currently I don’t think there is a big difference of having tons of friends or no friends.
    Chris, the case may have been rare, but I think the playing field is pretty much even. The main reason why it may not look like this is because most normal users don’t know how to create good Digg titles and descriptions. If I created a brand new account I am fairly confident I can get roughly the same amount of stories to the homepage.

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    I think Neil is probably right about this one. The problem a lot of people encounter is content they submit doesn’t consistantly get diggs while content submited by top users does.
    I agree friends does have a significant role in this but I think people often forget about quality of the content. Top users through experience have an eye for a good submission.
    The comparision Chris talks about above I don’t doubt are true but a couple of stories doesn’t prove something to be fact.
    Thats of course ignoring all I am saying is conjecture!

  • http://www.blosker.com strange

    Digg is going downhill fast. Soon someone will come up with better solution (I think Reddit already is better, they have downvote too) and they will be dead.
    just my 2 cents..