Is the internet doomed?

The world of SEO is spiraling out of control

Every user is a troll

Scroll, click, click, comment, scroll,

*sad emoticon*.

A FEW MOMENTS LATER:

In as surprising move, the spam dude posted his message under the spam girl, on a whole other digg post.

I hate the internet.

Best eBay feedback ever

Click image (below*) for blown up version.

* I had to edit that part twice, cos I idiot proof my posts 🙂

Anything you post can and will be used against you


Life isn’t easy when you’re an idiot on Facebook.

Take Joshua Lipton for example. I’m sure he wasn’t laughing that night when he plowed into some poor woman’s car while driving back drunk from a party. But two weeks later the scars (at least his) must have healed some, because the one thing he took from his run-in with the law (excuse the pun) was an idea for the perfect Halloween costume: A prison inmate! Hahaha! Get it?!



Unfortunately, the internet-savvy prosecution found that very picture while building their case against Josh as an irresponsible, callous, party animal with very little remorse regarding his victim who was still in hospital at the time. The judge didn’t appreciate the “humor” of the situation either, and sentenced the college Junior to Two Years Hard Time.

This latest example of when-social-networks-bite-you-in-the-ass didn’t exactly set legal precedence either. Both Jessica Binkerd and Lara Buys had unrepentant MySpace photos used against them in similar DUI cases.

And of course everyone has a friend-of-a-friend who was caught cheating via incriminating internet evidence.

Bloggers more often than not use internet anonymity as a means to convey stories and emotions that might otherwise be considered too compromising. However, mutual recognition is at the base of most social network use, so for the most part signing up incognito misses the point.

Could it be said that users should be more careful in differentiating between their “real” and “virtual” existences? Or maybe the whole point of the story is that the two are already hopelessly inseparable?

But all this just leads back to the age-old question: What’s worse – committing the crime, or not being smart enough to cover it up?

Follow up to Digg/Reddit debate

Wow, thanks to everyone who contributed comments to the previous post. I thought I’d summarize my responses and write a follow-up rather than clutter the comments section in that post. I’d also like to thank everyone on reddit who voted this up to the FP, kept it there for a good portion of the day, and made it one of the most hotly debated posts yesterday. A big thanks goes to those that dugg the story that did indeed get popular but was removed by the censor 40 minutes later (hmmm…).

First off, to all the haters I’d like to say that contrary to appearances, I love digg. Or rather, I loved digg. It’s because I care about the site and the community that I wrote the post in the first place. Yeah, I know it’s silly to take some dumb website personally, but I can’t help it, I do. I’ve spent a lot of hours on digg, so I feel like I have a right to an opinion, and good cause to be frustrated with the way things are right now.

Case in point, the previous post we’re discussing was dugg, and hit the front page for 40 minutes, and then got removed. Not buried, removed. Poof. This kind of censorship has long been discussed, and Kevin Rose’s response has been baffling, at the very least. 

Granted, Digg.com is privately owned and managed. There is no law governing over it where it is required to “play fair”, in a manner we’d deem democratic or transparent. Basically, they don’t owe us anything. However, they were one of the first to sell themselves as an uncensored site that let its community decide what gets popular, and now it just seems like they are suffering from a serious case of talking-from-both-sides-of-their-mouth-itis. This is precisely what currently makes Reddit better. Open Source is more than just a catch phrase. It’s a commitment to transparency and equality within the community.

This, to me, seems to be of key importance to bringing about  a higher standard community news-site.

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Why I’m leaving Digg & focusing primarily on Reddit.

This is Digg’s popular page as of 15 minutes ago or so:

wtfdigg

Seriously, what’s going on here?

In recent weeks, I’ve been comparing Digg to Reddit, and I must say, I feel reddit provides a much more solid community news engine than Digg.

Here’s a few points to consider:

Digg

· Same old content, constantly being regurgitated.

· Important news is not being displayed quickly enough (takes 50-150 diggs to get popular, by that time the news has already been broken in other outlets, ie: reddit).

· Terrible new recommendation engine – you don’t find what’s actually popular, you just find silly posts that aren’t relevant to your interests at all. For serious digg users that have many interests, it doesn’t add up at all. I understand it’s still in beta but the point is digg has way more important things to worry about than its upcoming section, which I thought was pretty good and I never really had any issues with it – If it ain’t broken don’t fix it!

· Blogspam. Need I say more?

· Once something gets popular it very rarely gets buried, as opposed to reddit, where the community will stream it out if it is blogspam or users trying to game the system.

· After checking, I found that power users (ie. msaleem, MakiMaki) have far too much influence – get to Front Page with stupid stories that seriously dilute the quality content digg should be all about. Get this:

  • Maki Maki – 8 FP stories, 70 submissions in 24 hours
  • Msaleem – 7 FP stories, 40 submissions in 24 hours – at this writing, he has 4 submissions that are popular on the Front Page at the same time.

On the other hand

Reddit:

· Open-Source – Always a plus, you can see how the engine works, and if you don’t like it, you can start your own!

· New, fresh content

· Constantly updated Front Page – every time you refresh reddit, FP is updated.

· Easier to get on the Front Page – Unlike digg, where 50% of FP material is submitted by the top 30 users (less than 1% of all digg users), if you have quality content and submit it, it will likely find its way to the Reddit FP.

· Alternative news sources instead of the usual sources diggers are obsessed with (ie: arstechnica, huffington post)

· No Apple fanboys (yeah, okay, maybe a few)

· Featured random upcoming story – On the Reddit FP, at the top pf the page there is a box which shows you a random upcoming story so automatically your submission gets some exposure, even if it’s for just a few seconds.

· Comment quality – reddit comments tend to be extremely funny at times and the comment system is better overall as higher rated comments get sent to the top of the page unlike in digg.

· More content on the Front Page – due to its simple and basic design, it is possible to scroll through many different stories on reddit on the FP.

· Longer title capacity

· There’s no diggnation podcast where 2 drunken egotistical idiots that wield way too much power sit around, drink beer, laugh at their own pathetic jokes and make comments that would make an 8 year old child who just took a bat to the head proud. Okay, maybe that was a bit mean, but come on. Get over yourselves, people.

I think the choice is clear.

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Duplicate content conundrum

A well known trick of the trade for easy SEO is to duplicate content found on other websites, nad promote it as your own. However, google and other search engines give penalties to website’s whose sole content appears to be a 1:1 duplicate of preexisting content. So, the question is, how much do you need to change in order to avoid the dreaded duplicate penalty?

As a rule of thumb, a lot of people throughout the industry find that 50% is a good figure to go with. Just rewriting the article is probably easier/faster/better than changing every other word. It provides flow, and a better read.

Adding your own personal spin is also very important. Typically thats one of the reasons someone will choose to read your writings over someone elses. Sometimes it may have been written before, just remember to put your own personal spin on it. The getaway here is simple – Content is King, but Original Content is the Ace. Try using several articles as starting points, then write something of your own. Original beats duplicate every time.

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