I’m sure by now most of you guys have heard of the major social bookmarking/news websites like digg.com, reddit.com, technorati.com, StumbleUpon.com, etc. In most cases getting a link on the front page from any of these sites can lead to a huge increase in traffic and visibility. That can be a good thing.
My problem with the situation is that it now appears that everyone in the universe is turning into a submission beggar, with “submit me to” buttons filling up most of the page. It’s getting to the ridiculous point where you can have 20+ buttons after every article. I understand that statistically it’s been shown that directly asking readers to do something makes it more likely something will be done, and making it very easy for them to submit your site with an easy to click button makes sense in this context, but I still find it somewhat wrong to have this be the focus of your efforts. It’s almost like reverse advertising, in that as a reader you are being asked to advertise for the site, but in an overly obvious and annoying way. You are no longer the actual audience, but a conduit to the big prize of being featured on a networking site.
There are now articles out there on how to write something that will get you to the front page of those sites. These aren’t “How to write something well” articles, they are “how to push the right buttons to get people to link you” articles, and they seem to me to defeat the purpose of putting things up in the first place: To have good content that has inherent value. Where is the line between spammers and this gaming of the system for traffic? The internet is a big place, that’s true, but I still believe that if you write something well, and it has inherent value, you will be found and gain an audience.
If anyone visiting this site thinks that something I’ve written or released is good enough to share with others and submits it to a networking site on their own, that’s great, I appreciate the sentiment and support. I believe in doing one job though, which is providing the best plugins and content I can, I’m not in the gaming business.