With me tonight is Greg Davies, known by most of you as cGt2099, one of the former top Diggers (in fact, Christopher Finke’s top 1000 Digger’s list still shows him at #106), and also runs The-Trukstop.com (more info on his background here).
Thanks for spending the time to interview with us.
You’re welcome my pleasure.
1 – We had a chance to catch up with Greg and talk to him about life after Digg. Greg, do you think that you’ve been given a fair shake? Especially considering the content that got you banned was front page on Reddit?
That’s a loaded question. Digg has terms of service, which I, like everyone else agrees to when you sign up. I had been banned a couple of times before, for stupid mistakes, and so the guys behind Digg must have believed, “enough is enough”. It’s their playground, and they set the rules; so I’m fine with that.
On the other hand, there didn’t seem to be any consideration into the fact that I was an extremely active submitter at Digg. I’d posted 1800+ stories since June 2006; and they didn’t seem to consider that I was observing the TOS a majority of the time. Consider also, that some diggers have been banned in the past numerous times also – some of them banned for infractions such as accepting payment for submits/Diggs – the consequences I faced at Digg just didn’t seem to be consistent with the repercussions that had been dealt out in the past.
2 – Digg has really done its fair share of changing the way people look at news. Social media can now deliver the news faster than a lot of traditional media. What did you think of the whole Blu-ray controversy where Digg banned several users and the whole community revolted?
The HD-DVD Riots of May 2007 started out as a valiant effort by some users – but turned into a joke. It caused a huge influx of users to join up just so they could act like Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew. So, while I could understand and see the initial point of standing up for yourself and your friends; it turned into something ridiculous. Many regular users were glad once the issue was resolved.
But the key thing about the revolt is that the power of Digg doesn’t truly lie in the hands of Kevin Rose, Jay Adelson et al… the power is in the hands of the users. THEY decide what makes the front page. They’re in control. So while the greatest aspect of Digg becomes raising awareness about certain issues the mainstream media isn’t covering; it’s also it’s greatest dictator: don’t be surprised if another riot happens there one day.
Yes, that’s very true. The power of social media is in the hands of the users. I recall hearing about the Virginia Tech shooting through social media, so it is a very real and powerful force.
3 – You’ve had over 1,800 Diggs submitted and over 30,000 stories Dugg in your Digg career. about how much time would you set aside a day for such activity? Also, how do you view Digg changed over time as it grew in popularity and underwent more social networking changes with the new profile and shout options?
It’s never really been a case where I would “set aside time” to submit stories and Digg stuff. I would just take it all on a “take it as it comes along” basis. So, it would be too hard for me to put a number on it. I would just somewhat integrate Digg into my regular internet surfing and online work. The new profiles at Digg were fabulous, and I really enjoyed the change. It took a little getting used to, but I found it a very valuable tool in being able to connect with others easier. All of a sudden; more diggers were accessible – and with something like Digg, the more networking you have with others, the better.
The shouts, on the other hand, are another story altogether. It seemed that from the get-go, shouts were perceived very differently among different users. Some saw them as great opportunities to share stories; others saw them as just a reprehensible method of spamming others. I honestly did my best to give a chance for the shout feature. If someone shouted me; I’d shout ’em back. But it just became overwhelming and way too time consuming. I ended up having to turn them off on my profile – it was just too much.
4 – What advice do you have for Diggers just starting out? What do you view as compelling content, and where do you think people should go to be on the lookout for good content?
If you’re starting out, don’t dive into the submissions straight away. Seriously. Take the time to just lurk, Digg, read, and even comment. Get a feel for the place first. That’s usually a good method of learning what kind of material has the tendency to become popular. Also, if you only just registered recently; don’t set yourself an unrealistic goal like becoming the number one Digger.
Getting to the top takes time and patience. A LOT of time and patience. When looking for content to post to Digg; I found that the best place is usually with what you are already doing online. In other words, take a look at your regular surfing patterns. Are there any good sites you’re visiting that you don’t often see on Digg? Submit the content from them – others may enjoy it.
One example I can give you is the heavy metal site Blabbermouth.net. When I started submitting content to Digg, I NEVER saw that site there. So I started posting content there. I was surprised to find out how many Digg geeks were also metalheads such as myself. Also, get into RSS feeds, and check out what other social news / social bookmarking sites are making popular. There’s a good chance that if it’s popular at Reddit or del.icio.us or StumbleUpon, then there’s a good chance it might become popular at Digg too.
A handy resource for that is popurls.com. Also, don’t just submit any old thing just for the sake of submitting something. Submit something that grabs your attention. If it grabs your attention, then it’s possible it’ll grab the attention of others too.
On a side note, if anyone is just starting out on Digg and is curious as to how to get on Digg’s front page, you might find this article I wrote about it of some help.
5 – I can’t imagine that you would want to be done using social media just because of what happened with Digg. There has been lots of activity on Digg surrounding your ban, and many are wanting you back. What communities do you think you will explore?
I’ve always bounced around different social sites, be it social networking (MySpace/Facebook) or social news/bookmarking (Reddit, etc). At the moment I’ve crashed the party over at Mixx.com. It’s similar to Digg, but it’s new, fresh and just starting out. And since starting out over at Mixx, I’ve been posting quite a lot. I’m hoping the community grows over there because it has a lot of potential.
On a related note, I’d like to thank those who’ve been sticking up for me with the whole “permanent ban” issue. Your support is very much appreciated.
6 – Have you closed the book in your mind about Digg? Or would you get right back into it given the opportunity?
If my account is ever reinstated, or if I’m ever allowed to re-register (they permanently banned via IP also, so I haven’t bothered even trying to set up a new account), I would probably submit content to Digg still. But I’m very comfortable with Mixx at the moment, and would love to be more proactive in that community to help it grow.
7 – Any closing comments?
I’d like to say cheers and thanks to all my friends and fans I networked with over at Digg. It was awesome, and the interaction made it all worthwhile. Also, take heed to what you are posting on Digg. Just because it hits the front page on other sites, doesn’t mean that it will fly at Digg – the admins have itchy trigger fingers…. but if you do fall into the ban clan like myself, come on over and help me shake up Mixx.com a little bit.
Update: looks like support for Greg has really been taking off – check out this parody video of Chris Crocke’s leave Brittney alone: