by Paula Neal Mooney
Many of us know the power of Digg.com, dreamed up by Kevin Rose, who touted it as a "user driven" site that says it allows the general public to determine the stories they want to see make it to the front page by voting for interesting articles they find across the web.
The more votes the public gives an article, the better chance it should have to make it to the front page. Theoretically...
The power of Digg's front page
Digg.com -- according to Alexa -- is now more popular than The New York Times.
Getting one of your articles or blog posts to the front page of Digg.com will get your website seen by plenty of eyes.
John Chow experienced a one-day traffic record of 55,856 page views when one of his posts hit the front page of Digg.
Digg Bans Domains...then Supposedly Unbans Them
One day, Digg banned me -- I'm still not clear why. I found out they banned a whole bunch of other people, too.
Then, they supposedly unbanned me -- along with all the other folks.
True, users can submit stories prefaced by my http://paulamooney.blogspot.com to Digg now and vote for them, but they are being automatically buried --- just like stories from other writers on Digg.com's below-listed blacklist -- by a process that obviously has our URLs and/or Digg profile account names on it.
Many of these blacklisted Digg users (and their readers) believed that the URLs were truly unbanned, and that the articles submitted had a true chance of making it to Digg.com front page, or at least the popular section.
But Digg.com's system of automatically burying even good stories -- no matter if those pieces receive 1,500 Diggs or more -- has prevented the blacklisted Digg folks from being seen by a large number of readers on Digg.com...for now.
Digg.com's head honchos are the ones burying folks, not average Digg users
Imagine my surprise last night when I discovered that all my articles submitted to Digg since December 23, 2006 have been systematically buried in an attempt to stop them from ever making Digg's front page --- even -- or perhaps, especially -- the blogger salary post that has received 111 Diggs as of this writing.
I used Brian Heys' tip to do a Digg search on my blog's URL, sorted by newest first, once with the "Include Buried Stories" box checked, then again with it unchecked to find out how long Digg has been automatically burying my stories.
You can use the same method to verify how long your site and/or the blogs on the below Digg.com's Secret Blacklist have been victim to this automated burying process.
"We're not surprised that with the gaining popularity of Digg there would be some that would try to manipulate the system for a variety of reasons," Digg founder Kevin Rose told MSNBC.
Turns out that the ones Kevin Rose says "manipulate the system" are the internal Digg folks themselves!
Neil Patel uncovered evidence of internal Digg manipulation in this article exposing Digg head honchos (the mysterious "crawl3.digg.internal" aka "Kevin Rose"?) that are burying stories before they can make it to Digg.com's homepage.
It's interesting to see what specific stories angers Digg so much that they bury everything that comes after it, like Deep Jive Interests' Digg's Uncopyable DNA, dated February 15, 2007.
Everything after that story submitted from the Deep Jive Interests' site has been buried -- anything newly submitted will be buried in about an hour -- as proven when you check the "Include Buried Stories" box on the Digg search page.
As a test, I submitted Deep Jive Interests' Irrefutable Evidence of a Digg Blacklist? last night and waited. It took a little more than an hour for it to be buried.
Is your Digg user account blacklisted?
But it's not just the below URLs that Digg has blacklisted with the automatic burial (within 1 1/2 hours) of any story from that that a user submits -- it's some Digg user accounts, too.
Using my Paula Neal Mooney Digg account, I submitted a Lebron James' Associated Content piece to Digg.
Then I set up a new Digg account and submitted an Associated Content piece about Paris Hilton.
Like clockwork, the Paula Neal Mooney submitted Lebron James' piece got buried, as if automated, whilst the Paris Hilton piece under the other Digg account remained for a while.
As of this morning the Paris Hilton piece was buried too, as are many Associated Content pieces.
Digg blacklists bloggers who become too popular
So while Digg keeps trying to make folks think they are fair and impartial and that they don't manipulate their front page, it's obvious that they do.
Just look at John Chow, who has had all of his articles automatically buried on Digg since November 20, 2006, when he posted Google Introducing Ad Placement for AdSense, which was made popular.
Scrolling thru the list of John Chow's posts on Digg before November 20, 2006, you'll see plenty of his posts made popular:
* The World's Most High-Tech Urinal
* The Dot Com Boom Goes Bust
And so on. After that date, you won't see any more of his posts made popular, and all of them buried -- or soon to be.
Digg.com's Autobury Secret Blacklist
Users don't Digg this behavior...
So how long does Kevin Rose think he can continue to preach his "user friendly" Digg site to the press, while knowingly banning sites that criticize him or don't agree with Digg's political bent?
How would all of John Chow's readers would feel knowing that any hard work they've done submitting and voting up his great articles -- with the belief that they were sharing them with Digg readers -- were in all likelihood deliberately buried (by an internal program, not Digg users) since November 20, 2006?
I could understand if Digg automatically buried sites featuring pornographic pics or something (on the contrary, those would probably sail to the front page with no buries) -- but Digg's secret blacklist burying is subversive, shady and smacks of McCarthyism in the way that the internal Digg folks keep burying sites they just don't like for personal reasons.
Are you on Digg.com's secret blacklist?
Want to know if Digg.com is systematically burying your stories -- and that they aren't being buried in a fair and impartial manner by the Digg reading public?
Do this to find out if Digg is automatically burying you...
(1) Write a quality story and submit it to Digg.com, then perform a Digg search on your URL -- leave "Include Buried Stories" unchecked, search on URL only, newest stories first.
(2) Check back in about an hour, note the time and perform the same Digg search as above, this time with "Include Buried Stories" checked.
(3) Repeat this process on all your great stories, noting the time they get buried. If about 1 hour and 25 minutes elapses after each story gets buried -- congratulations! -- You've made it on to Digg.com secret blacklist.
(4) Leave a comment here with your link so we can have a concise listing of all the people that Digg.com is attempting to blacklist.
It's my fervent prayer that Kevin Rose will go back to the initial idea that made Digg a success: trusting Digg users to know what they want on the front page without internal manipulation.
In due time, Digg.com may learn that just like the DVD HD hack code they tried to suppress until the users revolted, that the Savior nor a good story can be buried without resurrection...