The Secret Code to Making Digg’s Front Page“Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Select, Start.” If you drew one breath in the Eighties, or have any nerd credibility at all, you knew this was the Konami Code (also the ‘Contra Code’) when you read the first ‘Left,’ and started reciting it through the end while you read it.

“What does this have to do with getting to Digg’s front page, though?”

I’ll tell you.

Digg is a game: An advanced game which operates on concepts instead of concrete rules and has a nearly infinite number of variables to affect the players outcome. Neat, huh?

There are two ways to play: Be the person who is Digging, and be the person who is Dugg. The ‘Digger’ earns credibility as a person who has good taste, and a good sense of what is interesting or pertinent. The person who is Dugg earns the respect due to someone who has the knowledge, talent, skills, or sheer audacity to add to the inter-webs in a noteworthy way.

So how do you win the game? You don’t. You merely play more successfully than other players, and you prove your success by getting the article you Dugg or the article you wrote to Digg’s front page.
So what’s the code?

Concepts Vs. Rules

First, I enjoy seeing articles that I’ve submitted make it to the front page, but I enjoy seeing articles I’ve written make it to the front page even more, so I’m going to focus on that.

A game built on concepts, containing infinite variables has no ‘secret code.’ As far as I can tell, there is no concrete, definite way to get an article you wrote onto Digg’s main page, and don’t go believing anyone that says they can unless they’ve got a luxury yacht (or could afford one). If there was a definite way to make it to Digg’s front page, and I knew it,
I’d be rich, and I wouldn’t be telling you how.

In the interest of fair play, however, let’s get back to the game. I have authored several articles which have successfully made it to the front page of Digg and other social news sites. Here’s how I did it.

Play Nice

Make friends, Digg and bury articles according to their relevance. Make pertinent comments, don’t troll or spam. If you have criticisms or critiques be fair and even. I’m not your dad, and I’m not here to teach manners, but if you’re interested in leveraging Digg to help drive traffic to your site, you must have a level of professionalism. This will not only keep you off other user’s block list, but it will lend you a level of credibility throughout the Digg community. The repetition of your name next to good submissions and your good behavior will help you when your own article has been submitted.

Play Well

Whether it’s interesting, pertinent, timely (or timeless), well written, controversial, or just “effing” hilarious, your article has to be unique and capture the attention, if not the imagination, of someone to the point where they will take ten to twenty seconds out of their busy schedule and submit you to Digg.

To be fair, if you think your ‘Wool Hat Do’s and Don’ts” article is the bee’s knees and deserves to be submitted, you can always submit it yourself, but there seems to be a little extra credibility when someone else finds value in your article.
The simple statement here is “content is king.” If you play any game with skill and panache, you are more likely to succeed at it than if you, well, suck.

You also have to continue to play after you’ve had a major disappointment. If the Boston Red Sox hadn’t kept showing up to World Series after World Series, they never would’ve given themselves the chance to reverse the Curse. (Are you paying attention, Cubbies?)

Let’s pretend that your “Wool Hat” article is actually Pulitzer Prize material. Good job, but if you didn’t get one single other user to Digg your article (p.s. if you make some friends in the Digg community, a goose egg will never happen.) you have to write more articles and have more submitted. You’ve written one great article; that means you have it in you to write it again. As much as I hate to say it, the Yankees prove this theory year after year.

Digg’s Kill Screen

When I started researching the “Digg effect,” and how to leverage as a tool to increase site traffic, I was taken by how so many people referred to it as a ‘game.’ I couldn’t wrap my head around how such a powerful source of media, as well as a useful SEO tool could be taken so lightly. As I started attempting to make Digg’s front page with my own articles, however, and the frustration of articles making it *just* below the fold began to mount, the reality sunk in that you cannot control the outcome of this game, simply participate to the best of your ability with a good attitude and even better content. The Digg game has no end, and the top Diggers show consistent success, but I realize that some of you are number junkies, so here’s what I’ve got going for me.

  • You need at least` 15 friends, but more never hurts
  • Build a solid reputation by commenting on at least two Diggs a day
  • Add anyone who Diggs your article as a friend
  • I’ve seen articles with 9 Diggs make front, and I’ve seen articles with 100+ Diggs Fail.
  • Spend most of your time in the ‘Upcoming’ section, helping other Diggers.
  • Submit to categories that the article fits into. It gives them a better chance to be seen.
  • Use caution when posting your own stories. If they think it’s spammy, your site could be banned.
  • Use reciprocity: Digg your friends’ Diggs.
  • With luck, practice and persistence, we’ll see you on the Front Page!