You’ve seen it in action, but maybe haven’t quite understood what exactly was going on.
Trending Topics on Twitter like:
Thirst Re-imagines Twitter
Music on iPad again
They’re Mashable headlines! Or at least pieces of them. And due to their frequency/velocity/quantity, they trend on Twitter for many folks, pretty much every day.
Here’s why it happens: Spammers. More specifically: spray + pray bot-marketers. We’ve all seen these bots on Twitter telling us about free iPads and weight loss, etc. But they need filler content, too. They just can’t blast 24-7 about their CPA offer. And the most popular go-to filler content is Mashable.
These folks plug Mashable’s RSS feed into tools like Twitterfeed, Ifttt, Buffer, Hootsuite, Dlvr.it, etc. Then whenever Mashable posts a new story, so many of these accounts push out the story around the same time, that it often becomes a Trending Topic.
This isn’t Mashable’s fault, but they definitely benefit from it. Also, Mashable isn’t the only site that benefits from spammers’ hunger for “filler” feeds. But they are the most popular one I’ve seen.
Anyway. Case closed. That’s why Mashable trends every dang day. (Yes, I realize that Twitter’s recent tweak to personalized Trending Topics alters this a little.)
If you dig solving social media X-Files like this, you should probably sign up for my mailing list. I’m such a Scully. (In a universe where Scully’s deductive skills matter more than the supernatural.)
(This blog post was based off of some Tweets I made earlier today, Storified below.)
Extreme Makeover, Digg Edition happened today.
As of now, there are no comments. Just weighted/voted “top” stories. I’m trying to figure out how they determine “Top” and “Popular.” It seems to be weighted/seeded as much by a story’s Twitter activity as by its own internal Diggs (votes). Even if it isn’t, Twitter shares are certainly prominently displayed. (Facebook activity is displayed, too, but it’s pretty empty for most of the stories compared to Twitter activity).
Another thing- a story shows the Twitter avis of people sharing the link, regardless of whether they’re Digg users.
Below you’ll see a screenshot that displays my Twitter avi (among others), despite the fact that I’ve yet to register for Digg. (Unaware of Digg, I shared the story on Twitter.)
So yeah. Very Twitter-aware.
Then… paradoxically, it requires Facebook auth to sign-in. Betaworks are total Twitter-heads (my people!), and anticipating the FB-auth backlash, they assure us in their FAQ that requiring Facebook is an anti-spam measure, and will soon allow other ways to sign-in
Part of me wonders if it’s as much about preventing spam as it is about just getting the site up and running (respect!). After all, you can submit a link without Facebook auth:
Whatevs, they got it up and running. Right on. Even if this doesn’t “fix” Digg, they have nothing to lose by trying crazy stuff. Too many once-popular sites ride a slow-descent, scared of alienating their existing/decaying users. Cool to see a site-in-crisis try something for its future users.
On July 20, we announced that we were turning Digg back into a startup and rebuilding it from scratch in six weeks. After an intense month and a half, we managed to get the new Digg up and running on a fresh code base and infrastructure. We now have a solid foundation on which to build, and we expect to build fast. Yesterday, we previewed the new Digg applications for web, iPhone, and mobile web and today we’re happy to share Digg v1.
While today’s launch is a milestone for us, we’re more excited about what’s coming next. In the subsequent weeks and months we will:
introduce network-based personalization features (like we do in News.me) to make Digg a more relevant and social experience
experiment with new commenting features
continue to iterate Digg for mobile web
move the website forward with features like the Reading List, different views into the top stories on Digg, and more data to help users better understand why a particular story is trending
launch an API so that members of the development community can build all the products that we haven’t even thought of yet
For anyone who may have questions about what’s going on and where we plan to head, we’ve put together an FAQ. We’d appreciate any feedback.We’re proud of what we’ve built over the last month and a half, but today is just the beginning. Hello world, welcome to v1.
I’ll be honest- I haven’t really been taking LinkedIn seriously. I’ll spare you my grand theory of why all symmetric-relationship social networks (Like LinkedIn and Facebook) are way less interesting- that’s beyond the scope of this post. But I will say among people I know, way more professional opportunities and networking events have come through sites like Twitter. (To say nothing of non-professional stuff like art, news, etc.)
But recently I’ve been debating/discussing LinkedIn with some folk who have been bugging me to give it a really fair shot. So I am. I caught up on some “connections,” took the summary seriously, etc. #itsaprocess.
After I fulfilled all the symmetric obligations and supplied my structured data, I immediately licked my chops for good old unstructured discovery. You know- the stuff that makes twitter, tumblr, and pinterest so serendipitous.
This led me to LinkedIn Groups. If you’re reading this I probably know you from my geek (data science, python, ruby), seo, or advertising circles. I went looking for pretty much anything that fit into those areas. Honestly, I didn’t expect to find that much good geek stuff. If anybody has a lock on highly-developed, topic specific discussion areas, it’s geeks. We’ve got so many great watering holes (stuff like the StackExchange empire, sub-Reddits, Hacker News…), that I wasn’t surprised to find LinkedIn geek groups mostly populated by desperate recruiters. But even for other topics, LinkedIn Groups look pretty bleak. Many are ghost towns. And when you filter for activity/recent postings, there’s just a lot of “FIRST!” types of link posting with no commentary/interactions.
Can somebody tell me I have this wrong? Is it an open secret that you’re not really supposed to use LinkedIn Groups? Or are we supposed to find out about the good groups *off* the site? Do you have any favorite LinkedIn Groups? How did you find them?
Is my main problem that I’m trying to use LinkedIn for discovery/sharing/teaching/learning, when other people use it just for resume stalking?