The In’s and Out’s of Digg is a social bookmarking site that allows users to share stories, videos, and digital photos with other users of Digg. It’s a great way to find out what’s happening in the world of technology, politics, science, sports, or just about any topic – particularly obscure stories the main stream news may not be pushing or covering.

Digg can be an excellent way to build buzz about a big news story, funny video, or hot technology. Here’s how Digg works. You register for Digg and “digg” stories. “Digging” a story is like voting on it. The more “diggs” or votes a story gets, the higher it moves up in the ranking. The goal is to get your submission on the front page. Front page stories typically have a minimum of several hundred “diggs”, sometimes even a thousand if the stories on the front page are hot enough. So, if a submitted story gets 300 “diggs” in one day, it can make the front page, where it gains even more exposure, which can in turn lead to more “diggs”. And exposure is the key to building your brand, right? In theory, yes, Digg seems like the perfect place to submit information about your company, be it press releases, brand videos, blogs, etc. Unfortunately it is not. Below are several reasons why Digg will not help you build your brand.

1. The Digg Network – The Digg network is vast, with hundreds of thousands of users. While on the surface that sounds fantastic, and in theory it is, those hundreds of thousands of users may not ever see your story because there are millions of stories, videos, and other items that they are being asked to look at. There is simply too much information for everyone to consume at one time.

2. Shout it out! – The only way to alert the Digg network to the story you have either submitted or would like to share with other Digg users is to send a “shout” to your mutual friends network. This is fine and dandy, however your mutual friends are also receiving shouts from their mutual friends, who are receiving shouts from their mutual friends, who are receiving… you get the picture. One could literally have a thousand “shouts” waiting in their inbox. That’s a lot of stories to read and “digg”. Plus, many times shouts go unheard simply because of the volume of shouts your mutual friends are getting. And even if your shout doesn’t go unheard, there’s no guarantee your mutual friends will “digg” it.

3. Friends – As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of thousands of users on Digg. Well, there is only one sure fire way to get people on Digg to “digg” your story and that’s to become a fan of another Digg user. Seems simple enough, so let’s try it. Let’s say you see lots of stories posted by a user that you like, so you decide to add them as a fan. That user then gets a message saying you have added them as a fan. They can either choose to reciprocate by adding you as a fan (which makes you mutual friends) or do nothing. Here’s the problem. If they do nothing, you are simply a fan of this person and you can’t share a story with them. Since you can’t share a story with that person, you can’t get them to “digg” your story, which means lost opportunity to get your submission on the front page. You could literally become a fan of hundreds of users and never be able to share your stories with them. What’s worse is out of all the hundreds of people you added as fans, only 30 or 40 might be a mutual friend. That is not nearly large enough to get the “diggs” you need to get your submission on the front page.

4. Cool Factor – You have built up a good network of mutual friends. You have a video you want to share with them that you think is cool. Well, cool is in the eye of the beholder. Your mutual friends may view your video and not like it enough to “digg” it. It really can be a crap shoot at times.

5. Multiple Submissions – Okay, so the stars have aligned and you have everything you need to get the story you are submitting to Digg on the front page. It’s a really cool video and you have hundreds of mutual friends that you know will “digg” it. Your set and ready to go. You submit the story and guess what? Someone has already submitted the story. Digg will always prompt users during the submission process to limit multiple story posts, but it doesn’t always stop people. Sure, you could turn around and simply “shout” the existing story to your friends network, but what if you’re trying to build brand for your company and there are several submissions? Well, on the positive side there have been several submissions with several “diggs” attached to each submission, but the negative side is those several submissions with several “diggs” each aren’t cumulative. So yes, a few dozen people may have “digg-ed” your story, but without the “diggs” being cumulative, you can’t build the ranking you need to get on the front page. And without you getting your submission on the front page, you’re not reaping the benefits of Digg.

I’m not hear to bash Digg. I love Digg! There is just so much random nonsense to read about and so many videos with insane stunts or bizarre antics to watch that I just can’t get enough. Plus there’s actually a ton of useful information too. It’s just not the place to build your brand. You are excited about your product, but the users of Digg are not. They don’t care about your blog. They don’t care about the technical achievements your company has discovered. Unless you work for a large company like Sony, Microsoft, or any other corporate giant that have highly sought after product that people will “digg” in a heart beat, your chances of success with Digg are slim to none.

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