It’s safe to assume that pages that make it to the Digg front page are sufficiently interesting and well-written to attract a lot of attention from a large, educated and tech-savvy audience. What kind of author would create this kind of post? Probably an educated, tech-savvy and insightful blogger with some expertise in a particular subject.
So the question is this: why are educated, tech-savvy, insightful experts so likely to use WordPress.com?
General Disarray goes on to spell out the reasons top Digg bloggers use WordPress and they basically are:
- It’s free.
- High spikes of bandwidth and cost of such bandwidth are absorbed at no cost to themselves.
- WordPress is feature packed, so good bloggers know they are getting cutting edge technology.
- “The WordPress.com user community is extremely active and responsive.” I like that one.
Because comments are closed on that WordPress.com blog, I’d like to respond here.
First, yes, really good bloggers do thoroughly research and understand their tools. They want strong, solid, trustworthy, and capable software to use, allowing them to do what they want to do while doing it with ease. A lot of screaming was heard at first as full version WordPress users were unhappy with the lack of tweakability and customization of their WordPress Themes, but we made it clear that WordPress.com is for blogging. WordPress, the full version, is for blogging and tweaking.
Which brings me to my second point. When more energy is put into blogging, into thinking about the words and images you want to share with the world, less energy is spent figuring out which template tag goes into which part of the WordPress Loop to generate a list of recent posts without bullets and in alphabetical order not chronological, and how to make each one be a different color. With WordPress.com, all you have are the words.
So WordPress.com tends to attract those with something to say. And they want to say it fairly regularly.
Thirdly, while many people can put together two and eight to make the USD$10 a month, more or less, it costs to host your own site, getting struck by a Digg, Slashdot, or other social bookmarking service spike can cost. Most of the time people don’t think about the cost. They are just desperate to write something that will catch the eye of the Digg and Slashdot public, bringing troves of excited people to their blogs. They don’t think about the financial consequences if their site is really hit hard and exceeds it’s maximum bandwidth load. Host servers understand this and those who love the money, greedily sponge it up, while others who understand that this kind of thing happens once in a while, may make exception and not drain your pocketbook for a fluke. If the fluke persists, then the money will drain.
All of this makes perfect sense for people who are consciously determined to get their articles dugg by Digg and found by Wired and Slashdot audiences. It also assumes that the authors of these Digg determined WordPress.com bloggers are submitting their own sites to Digg and other social bookmarking services, hoping to race to the top in numbers.
Does this imply that WordPress.com bloggers are obsessed with getting their articles in Digg?
That’s a bigger leap than I am willing to make in all these assumptions. I like the notion that WordPress.com bloggers are into the writing, into making their content be the best it can be, being of a “higher intellectual class” than the average blogger. I’d like to believe that WordPress.com attracts savvy writers who have something worthy to say, therefore something worthy to Digg.
Still, there are those who hunger for inclusion in the Digg ranks, so maybe there are some WordPress.com bloggers thus determined to take advantage of the Digg-style bandwidth spikes costing them nothing on WordPress.com.
Even so, a WordPress.com blog has no special rights on which articles make it to the top of the charts. That boils down to good writing, content, catching their interest, and holding it.
On that, I’d have to agree that there are a lot of bloggers who write that good using WordPress.com. In a world of natural selection and survival of the fittest, WordPress.com does help bloggers live a little better, and a little longer.
It seems that General Disarray agrees:
Of course, the savvy internet fiend knows what to look for in a good blogging platform, and inevitably ends up at WordPress.com (unless he’s rich, in which case he buys some hardcore web hosting and does a custom WP2.0 install!). Hence, a disproportionate number of experts and good authors use WP.com, and the preferences of those experts and authors are reflected on social news sites like Digg.com.
Does this mean that having a WordPress.com blog guarantees you a high spot in the ranks of Digg? No, but it does imply that you are pretty smart in blogging with a WordPress.com blog, which is beginning to look pretty darn good on your blogging CV. ;-)
Personally, I haven’t noticed a rise in WordPress.com blogs in the top ranks of Digg. Have you? But it does make me feel good that people are now more aware of WordPress.com blogs, thus paying closer attention to them. Uh, and of course, WordPress.com bloggers are the best and Digg fans are very discriminating and want only the best. ;-) Ah, we’re in good company.
Thanks, General Disarray, for the reminder that good things are happening here on WordPress.com, and that we are in good company.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen