Those who know me, know that I’m a fan of Digg. While my active participation on this “community-based popularity website” varies from week to week, I nevertheless encourage those I know to use it.
For me, Digg is a quick-reference search engine. It is the place I turn when I want to see if, say tinyurl is really down and why or what was the name of that website that tells you what software a site was built with. Digg is also a place to see what my friends and some family members are reading or at least perusing. It serves as a quick sort through the online information morass. Not the final word, but a quick stop.
The other reason that I talk up Digg is for its distribution and audience-building abilities. While this may not have been the original intention of Digg’s founders, just look at the recent partnership with the Wall Street Journal and it’s clear what the site has become for some users. And if that doesn’t sell you, look at how many online news outlets now include some mechanism for readers to easily Digg their content.
Whether you are talking about a blog posting, a breaking news story or a feature piece, a well constructed Digg can result in a significant increase in uniques and page views. While it’s hard to assign a formal metric, I have seen personal blog posts draw additional uniques in the hundreds and newspaper news stories draw additional uniques in the thousands and up. I’m sure if you were talk to the folks at the WSJ.com they’d likely be able to cite even bigger returns.
Tapping this audience does take more then just a reader hitting a Digg button or you seeding your own content.
Typically headlines and the tops of our stories are written for a local audience; they include the names of towns, abbreviations for local sports teams or officials last names instead of titles — great for a local audience, bad for a national audience. So plan your Diggs appropriately, with a catchy headlines and grabbing ledes and give it a shot.