It is the dream of many bloggers and website administrators: To be reviewed by Slashdot or Digg. Millions flock to your site and everyone is talking about what you have to say and do. It’s a great accomplishment. In fact, it’s a kind of award-winning achievement in the Blogosphere.
Oh, I can’t believe it! I won!
I’d like to thank Slashdot and Digg from the bottom of my heart for calling attention to my blog. You’ve made my dreams come true.
I’d also like to thank all the people who made this possible. First, Matt Mullenweg for developing WordPress and Ping-o-matic which brought my site to the notice of search engines. Second, I’d like to thank my mother and father for making me, my spouse and children for enduring long hours watching me hunched over my computer banging my head against the keys in order to write something witty and slashdottable.
I’d also like to thank all the readers of Slashdot and Digg. Without you, my bandwidth would be affordable this month. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Yes, while an Oscar might bring hundreds of movie scripts your way, a Slashdot and Digg only brings massive visitors to your blog. Servers are taxed beyond their capabilities, your bandwidth and access rates are exceeded, charges hit your credit card, and hosts have to scramble and quiver in fear of blowing everyone else off their servers just because of YOU.
In order to learn more about this Slashdot and Digg effect, Kottke compared being hit by Digg versus Slashdot and came up with some interesting comments.
But over a period of about 4 days, Slashdot has sent more than 4 times the number of visitors to kottke.org than Digg — despite a 18-hour headstart for Digg — and the aftershock for Slashdot is much larger and prolonged. It’s been four days since the Slashdotting and kottke.org is still getting 15,000 more visitors a day than usual. This indicates that although Digg may rapidly be catching up to Slashdot traffic-wise, it has a way to go in terms of influence…
…What all this suggests is that if you’re really interested in how influence works on the web, just looking at traffic or links doesn’t tell you the whole story and can sometimes be quite misleading. Things like longevity, what the social & linking networks look like, and how sites are designed are also important. The Alexa data suggests that Digg has half the traffic of Slashdot, but that results in 4x the number of visitors from Slashdot and a much larger influence afterwards. The data aside, the Digg link was fun and all but ultimately insignificant. The Slashdot link brought significantly more readers to the site, spurred many other sites to link to it, and appears to have left me with a sizable chunk of new readers. As an online publisher, having those new long-term readers is a wonderful thing.
For the short term thrill, Digg does offer some added benefits. With Slashdot, all you can do is watch your blog traffic stats to get your kicks. With Digg, you not only get to watch your blog traffic stats, you can watch your Dugg post going up and down the Digg dugg list, count and read comments, and get some feedback on what you wrote off your site. Digg definitely wins in the immediate response thrill factor.
What I would like to know is if the audiences for Digg and Slashdot are different or the same folks. Do people who read Slashdot also play around with Digg? Or are they exclusive? I guess we’ll have to wait for more research on that. I’d also like to see research done on how helpful providing tags and submit buttons are in increasing your chances of getting picked up by Slashdot or Digg. This is such a new trend, but I want to know more.
Clearly, long term benefits will always outweigh short term thrills, and according to Kottke, Slashdot continues to bring in traffic for much longer than Digg. The long term increase in traffic will definitely look better on your overall page rank with search engines.