Four and a half hours later, I was the only person who had dugg my story. That’s when I hired a Digg-gaming service called User/Submitter, or U/S. This enterprise, run by one or more zealously anonymous individuals, advertises that it can help “submitters” get Digg stories noticed by paying “users” to digg them…Ten hours after hiring U/S, I had 40 diggs…When I woke up in the morning, my story had been awarded the “became popular” tag and had 121 diggs. U/S had done what it promised: The company had helped me buy my way into Digg popularity, and my site traffic had gone way up — overnight, I’d been hammered with so many hits that the diggers had to set up a mirror.
While the story was ultimately buried, it still managed to make the homepage and was only buried because normal diggers decided the story was really lame – the author admits he created the worst blog he could think of, so there would be no question of gaining diggs purely on merit.
I don’t know what’s more sad. The fact you can get onto the homepage of Digg for less than $200 or the company’s continued claims that it cannot be gamed.
UPDATE: Michael Arrington suggests Wired has dark motives for their attack on Digg. He reminds us that Wired now owns competitor Reddit.