In the world of search and social media, Digg has become the 900 pound gorilla. Digg can drive tremendous volumes of traffic to a web site if you're so fortunate to have a piece go "hot" and hit the front page. Contrary to popular belief though, hitting the front page almost never occurs due to content alone ... it takes friends! In fact a study by SEOmoz (from 1 1/2 years ago) revealed that the top 100 Diggers control in excess of 56% of Digg's homepage content. Once again, the 20/80 rule at its best.

This necessarily means that in order to excel at using Digg as a strategy, you need friends ... lots of friends. Friend acquisition however, is a process ... an ongoing process. There's also an art to to ... in essence; the Digg environment is not unlike dating. You want to make yourself as attractive as you can possibly be before proposing a date. Ultimately, when the dating proposition is finally made, you want to maximize your chances for success right?

The Seduction Game - Digg Friend Strategies
Image courtesy:

The Blog Series:
Accordingly, there's too much to cover in one blog posting, so I'm breaking it into a series of 3 postings (1 each Wednesday for the next 3 weeks). The 3 posts are titled:
1) Improve Your Digg Profile - A Dating Analogy (Making Yourself More Attractive)
2) Seeking Out The Best Digg Friends
3) Tracking Digg Friend Loyalty

The Tests/Assessments:
In the remainder of this post I'll detail key elements Power Diggers look for when determining a potential friend's attractiveness, and therefore your likelihood of being accepted as a friend. Specifically, the tests discussed are:
a) Quick Once Over Assessment
b) The Shallow Test
c) The High Maintenance Test
d) The Age Test
e) The Association Test
f) The Interest Assessment

Lets begin by putting things into perspective; it helps to understand that Digg is a very competitive space, with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of users. Obviously, each of these people also recognizes the need for friends, and is likewise actively recruiting for their friend networks. In reality, there are a finite number of people we actually want as friends, and the vast majority are merely a distraction of focus ... sound familiar? Kinda like a giant night club. We're not attracted to some people for many reasons. Others are too self-absorbed. Then, there's the individuals that exude an aura of fun and confidence. Everyone surrounds them, hanging off every word they say. The question is; how can we get them to take notice and want to be friends with us. They've only got limited time, so will befriend only a few.

Here are a few factors I suggest paying particular attention to in making yourself more attractive as a Digg friend, so the popular folks will take notice:

a) The Quick Once Over Assessment (# of Diggs) - specifically, we'll often be looking for 2 metrics here:

Digg - Key User Statistics Used in Assessing Friend Attractiveness

    a1) Total Number of Diggs - This is equivalent to a quick assessment the whole package in terms of dating ... eyes, hair, legs, physique, attire, height, build, etc. so make sure you look the best you possibly can. Ideally, your total # of Diggs should be at a few thousand or more, to tell your potential friends you're serious about them (from screenprint 'above ... see the # associated with 'Dugg' in the 'Stats' chart), and a serious consideration.

    a2) The #s in the 'Most Dugg Topics (Last 30 Days)' chart - you've got their attention now for a fleeting moment, so now they'll look for more information. The sum of these numbers should add to more than a few hundred in order to be viewed as an active digger. Personally, I like to see 600 or more. Ultimately, the higher it is, the more attractive you become! Using the dating analogy, this is a deeper look at the specifics eg. what's he driving? Who is she hanging with? Ohhhh ... are those real? So, get busy!

b) The Shallow Test (What Types of Content are you Digging) - again inline with the dating analogy, you want to make sure that you're a well rounded person and not perceived as shallow. The chart above on your profile page tells people exactly what types of content you're digging, and how shallow you are. Accordingly, take an active interest in many topics ... but make sure you're really interested in those topics, otherwise your behaviour is not sustainable over the long term, and you're likely to hear "he/she changed after we started dating".

c) The High Maintenance Test (Diggs to Submissions Ratio) - If you request to be a friend to someone, then the higher your Diggs to Submissions ratio (total # of Diggs divided by # of submissions), the better. Personally, I like to see at least 20:1. Nothing drives me more insane then receiving friend requests, only to see that they've submitted more than they've Dugg. This screams "high maintenance ... its all about me baby!". I typically run when I see that being a well grounded person.

Digg High Maintenance Test

d) The Age Test (Age of Account) - are you too young to be on the dating scene? Looking at the age of your account can aid Power Diggers in assessing your commitment and experience. In many cases, if you don't have much of a history, you'll be deemed too risky or too much of a question mark. You'll then be left to age a little before being given another opportunity.

e) The Association Test (Who Else Knows/Likes You) - the concept here is that if someone else in the 'in-crowd' has dated/befriended you, that's a tremendous vote of confidence for you. There must be some good reason they're associated with you, so others from the 'in-crowd' are intruigued to look a little deeper. That said, befriending popular Diggers begets the befriending of even more popular Diggers.

and last but certainly not least:

f) The Interest Assessment (Show You're Interested) - The best way to get someone's attention and to tell them you are interested, is to support them. So, tell them by voting for some of their stories ... those that interest you. So, if you dig someone, well really Digg their stuff!

In the end, the more of these tests you pass, the more dates you'll get (more friends), and the more popular people (ie. Power Diggers) you'll attract. Unfortunately, its not quite that simple, as its not about the absolute number of friends you've got, but rather who your friends are, how similar your interests are, and how strong those relationships are. Accordingly, this will be the subject of the next post in the series next Wednesday titled; Seeking Out the Best Digg Friends.

Edit: here's the second post of the series "Tips for Finding and Securing the 'Right' Friends on Digg"