Thursday, January 17, 2008

Q and A with Mr. Babyman

digg Here is an interview with Mr.Babyman [Andrew Sorcini]; who had over 1800 Stories made popular and over 7,500 stories submitted with in a short span of 2 years at Digg and became the top digger.

How much time would you set aside a day for such activity?

I spend a couple hours each weekday morning looking for great stories and digging up friends' stories, and about 3 hours at night after putting my daughter to bed (while catching up on TV, etc). Occasionally, I'll also try to sneak a submission or two during the day, when work is slow.

Where do you think people should go to be on the lookout for good content?

The best advice here is to follow the leaders. Watch what stories become popular and take note of what sites regularly hit the homepage. Many mainstream media sites, such as “The New York Times” and “Business Week” are also reliable sources.

What do you view as compelling content?

My criteria for compelling content is based on two things:

The first is zeitgeist, the spirit of what's currently popular in the blogosphere. This can be unpredictable and change fairly rapidly. There's no real easy way to gauge this other than to spend some time on the internet observing what's being submitted and what becomes popular. One week it may be Apple. The next week it may be the RIAA.

The other criteria is my own personal taste. For the most part I will only submit the stories that personally appeal to me.

Does digg discourage or encourage submitting our own content?

Officially, Digg doesn't discourage users from submitting their own content, but ultimately the Digg community decides that fine line between great content and spamming. Often they tend to err on the side of caution and bury many author-submitted posts.

Do most users start by looking at popular stories on the home page or by looking at their favorite other users' lists?

Most of Digg's users tend to only look at the stories on the front page; some aren't even aware there's an Upcoming page at all. More often than not, I'll look at my friend’s submissions before looking at the front page.

What advice do you have for Diggers just starting out?

You will ultimately be judged as a reflection of the content you submit, so the more choosy you are early on, the more trust people will put in you as a submitter. Make lots of friends and support each other by digging each others' stories. The only thing as important on Digg as submitting quality content is maintaining a network of friends to help raise that content above the masses of other submissions.

Few Words about Digg Algorithm?

The Digg algorithm is extremely complex, and does its job of leveling the playing field amongst new and experienced submitters quite well. On a personal note, however, I feel that longtime submitters learn from experience and ultimately submit better content, and it seems a bit harsh when I see fantastic content from my fellow longtime submitters fail to hit Digg's FrontPage because of the inflated promotion threshold.

Few Words about top diggers Digital Gopher, Muhammad Saleem, Zaibatsu [ Reg Saddler]?

Digitalgopher’ is a true gentleman, who taught me by example how to (and how not to) submit to social news networks. The former number one submitter on Digg, I'm certain he'll make the same splash in amateur photography on Flickr that he did with social bookmarking on Digg, as his beautiful photographs prove.

Not only is ‘Muhammad’ a brilliant observer of social media in his blog posts, but a masterful social news submitter in his own right. Honestly, I don't know how he manages to juggle everything and do it so well. I foresee big things in his future.

Reg’ embraces life, and it shows. 'Go big or go home' could easily be his motto, as is evinced by his submissions. Between his great sense of humor, his passion for world events, and his likability amongst nearly every Digg user, Reg is a great friend to know.

A word about recently banned top diggers?

From interviews I've read with both Kevin Rose & Jay Adelson I understand that Digg's internal security is quite comprehensive. They claim to be several steps ahead of spammers & cheaters. Having said that, I can't dispute the validity of recent bannings without an understanding of the facts from both sides.

According to banned submitters, however (whom I have spoken with), Digg hasn't been very forthcoming regarding exactly why they were banned. And while Digg is under no obligation to explain themselves, it does certainly give the impression of not being closely involved with your user community.

Are there any other social media sites, which you have found to be interesting?

There are aspects of StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Mixx that I appreciate over Digg, but ultimately Digg works the best for me.

What is your view on the future of social media?

Social media is a niche field on the verge of eruption. As the tools of social media are becoming democratized, we're beginning to see it incorporated into our daily lives more often. Choice appeals to us, and we like the ability to access user-submitted content alongside content from mainstream media. In the future, those distinctions will blur until they're imperceptible.


chepay said...

How I wish I could interview you also Mr.Babyman:)

Reem Abeidoh said...

Excellent interview with Digg guru, Mr. Babyman.

Deznice said...

what a loser. APay more attention to your kid. 5+ hours a day? You have OCD

WordsnCollision said...

Kudos to Mr.Babyman for taking a few minutes to share his thoughts with us, and thanks to Chris for making it happen!

cGt2099 said...

Interesting interview. Good stuff.

Social Media Guru said...

Wow that is an impresive resume on a Digg user. Definitely some valueable advice that I can use when socially bookmarking and sharing websites in the future