Why Digg is like the music industry
The music industry is notoriously competitive and circumstantial (does this sound familiar yet?). I was sitting reading Digg, listening to The Motion City Soundtrack and the thought dawned on me - these guys sound similar to some bands i've heard who are plastered all over TV and the radio, yet they aren't; why is that? The rise of bands seems paradoxical to that we see for submissions on Digg.
How Circumstantial Is Digg?
Almost entirely, while some may argue that the best stories always get Dugg, it clearly isn't the case. I've seen better written articles fall into obscurity while similar but less interesting articles (in my opinion obviously) bask in the glory of the front page. While Oli at ThePCSpy commented that one of the key factors of a successful Digg submission is whether you hit the "opinion tide" right.
The Opinion Tide
The opinion tide is an unpredictable force and when matched with good timing, can cause your submission to sink or float. Hitting a group of users who like your submission can be enough to propel you to the top, but conversely, hitting the wrong group may result in you being buried. This indicates the circumstantial nature of Digg but the tide of opinion also applies to music; a good support slot (with a similar successful band, within the right genre) could secure enough popular support to help propel them to the heady heights, but, a bad slot could result in the only material available being negative reviews and essentially burying the band.
While the link may be tenuous it would explain why some good articles never get above 2-3 diggs, while lesser articles are hit at the exact right time and receive 400+. Some of the most thought provoking material I have read has been in articles that fail to impress the majority.
Digg, like music, is not the embodiment of "the American dream", where with enough effort you can hit the top. Both areas prove that good material/content is not the only element required to succeed, you need a certain amount of good fortune. While most Diggers would always value their content above others, it remains a social book-marking site where the interest of others ultimately determines success, and typically, the same can be said for music. If a band gets successful it's because people like it, and the same goes with Digg submissions, it's just those early days in the upcoming section where the tide determines whether you make it out to sea, or get smashed into rocks and sunk. Good content is not the deciding factor.
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