8 What Are Reddit and Digg?

I’ve heard these can give a big boost to my readership. But how do I use them?

Reddit and Digg are social news or social bookmarking sites. The Internet is huge, and expanding faster than the jogging pants at an all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s just too much new stuff for any one person to keep up with. Social bookmarking sites rely on networks of special interest groups to find the best of the new stuff and report it back to the group. Once the item is available on the site, the rest of the group can vote it up or down. The idea is that the cream will rise to the top. It doesn’t always work out so well in real life, since there are ways to game the system (such as recruiting your friends to vote up your stuff). Still, the bigger networks have enough legitimate users to counteract these shenanigans.

Submit to Reddit post screen. User is posting Five Tips for Contributing to Reddit to the gaming community.
Figure 6. Submitting to Reddit is a straightforward process, but you’ll need to be creative with your title and make sure you select a proper reddit community. Reddit communities exist for virutally every topic, such as writing, gaming, and politics.

Before worrying about how these sites can boost your views, study them carefully, paying attention to what kinds of blogs or websites get the best scores and thus have the strongest appeal. You might study the top-ranking items for a few weeks or even months, trying to find similarities or patterns in what rises to the top. Equipped with that knowledge, you should be able to make your own work more likely to succeed with them.

Keep in mind that nobody but you cares about how many views or comments you get. You might spend hours working on a blog post, just to find that nobody wants to read it. Whining, begging, or trying to trick people into viewing your site will only ruin your reputation. If you post on a social bookmarking site and the results aren’t good, don’t post about it again. Instead, go back to the drawing board and work on making your posts more appealing to the audience you’re trying to reach.

A post to Digg screen. User is posting about the Halls of Redemption (Armchair Arcade) to the gaming and news tags.
Figure 7. The Digg submission has an optional field for entering a description of the site. Again, it is very important to word both the title and description as accurately and succinctly as possible. You can also select an appropriate topic and screenshot for your submission.


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Writing Spaces Web Writing Style Guide Copyright © 2011 by Writing Spaces is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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