Disrupting DIGG Scoble style

In a few weeks, everything Robert Scoble submits to DIGG will go popular, hitting the homepage. The question will not be if Scoble will control the hot stories on Digg, but more when! Digg will bann Scoble for violating their TOS, Scobel will have a different opinion. And then off course we will have DIGG/Scoble gate!

What did just happen? It all started with this Tweet:

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Discussion on Friendfeed is here.

Robert Scoble subscribed to Digg on August 28th in 2005, but only used the site sporadically. You can see from his stats that he has not been spending as much time on Digg as he has on Twitter or Friendfeed.

  • image Dugg: 33
  • Comments: 14
  • Submitted: 4
  • Made popular: 1
  • Popular ratio: 25%
  • Friends invited: 0
  • Profile views: 3,791

Given that Robert Scoble has such a large followers base on Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook, I expect he will get a lot more friends on Digg as well. And he will have those friends fast!

Just one hour after his Tweet, he already got 177 new friends. Here.

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He adds all people to his friends list who add him as a friend. With a large list of friends on Twitter, this will give Scoble the chance of exploding the number of people who add him as friend on Digg as well. Just imagine, after a couple of Twitter updates of the number of friends on Digg, he can easily add more.

Let's just assume Robert can add 10 % of his Twitter followers as friends on Digg. Currently Scobleizer account on Twitter is having 48,017 followers. If only 10% of these followers add him to Digg, he has the opportunity to broadcast a message to 4,801 Digg friends.

Now what would you do with more than 4,500 friends on Digg. You can shout massages to them, they can Digg your submissions, and you can take over the homepage pretty easily with a nearly 100% popular ratio!

Off course this will get Robert Scoble banned from Digg, just like all the other Digg super users. Whenever some individual gets too much power, the account will get shut down. But just imagine the experiments Robert can conduct using the crowd to vote on his stories.

  • Submit stories from unknown bloggers Scoble thinks highly off. All the critics aside, I always enjoy reading Scoble posts. Why? Robert has a weak hart for the little guy. Entrepreneurs who work hard to get their technology in the spotlight are picked up by Scoble, and sometimes helped to get on the front page of Techmeme.
  • Disrupt the Digg system. Digg is controlled by a small group of super users, who cry foul whenever one of their own is being shut down from Digg. "Stealing" stories is normal practice for these guys, but when it happens to themselves they start outing one of their own.
  • Get some more controversial posts on his awaiting ban on Digg. In the past, Robert always pushed the boundaries of the limitations of number of friends you can add on social networks/ systems. Banned from Facebook, limited by Twitter, no platform is safe to be scobleized. And rightly so! If it wasn't for Robert Scoble, these boundaries would not get tested, pushed to the limits.

I'm looking forward what the intentions are from Scoble on Digg. Will the Digg community go crazy, what will the reaction be from Digg on his submissions reaching the homepage, and how fast will he get banned from Digg.

DIGG Forced To Take Down Link(s)

The future of the Internets is at stake. What will the Internet become when you as webmaster can get sued over linking to other websites? DIGG is taking down submitted site links, and remember December 23, 20008; A story widely reported in the blogosphere:

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From the BostonGlobe itself:

GateHouse Media Inc., the owner of 125 local newspapers across Massachusetts, sued the Boston Globe’s parent today for linking to GateHouse articles on the Globe's new local websites.

In a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Massachusetts, GateHouse argued that the New York Times Co. violated copyright law by copying "verbatim" headlines and the first sentence from articles in the Newton Tab, Daily News Tribune of Waltham and other GateHouse papers on the Globe's own websites, along with links to the full articles.

The ending paragraph on Techdirt describes it very well:

Either way, the end-result of all of this is that other websites have already come to the conclusion that it's just not worth linking to GateHouse sites at all. Consider it a stupid lawyers tax. Suing people for sending you traffic has to be, perhaps, the most braindead business strategy around, these days.

The next Industry is getting an idea; Let’s sue DIGG, the biggest distributor of links to copyrighted free stuff…?!?

On December 30th 2008 DIGG received a take down notice for copyright infringement on the movie In The Electric Mist starring Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman. As the movie is not very well known, the plot is short described as:

New Iberia Lt. Dave Robicheaux is trying to link the murder of a local hooker to New Orleans mobster Julie (Baby Feet) Balboni-back in his home parish as co- producer of Hollywood director Michael Goldman's Civil War film-when sizzled/psychic movie-star Elrod Sykes, pulled over for drunk driving, starts babbling about a corpse he found in the Atchafalaya Swamp-the corpse of a black man Dave had seen murdered 35 years before.

Argh.. plot, smot… Who really cares. Apparently the movie was for all to see on the Internets, for FREE. And Diggers just were submitting the link to Digg to let the world know! This is common practice for the DIGG crowd. Not many reach the front page, but at least you can find a free movie whenever you want to watch one! Just search for Watch Free Movie.

It’s not the first time DIGG removes something from their site. A simple site:digg.com “This item has been removed pursuant to a” search exposes all the submissions that have been taken down by DIGG lately. In Google 572 results of submission which were taken down by DIGG show up.

Image Entertainment rightful owner of exclusive rights!

The complaint was filled by Image Entertainment Inc. Image Entertainment claims it owns the exclusive rights to the movie In The Electric Mist. On the site of Chillingeffects.org you can read the full text of the complaint:

Re: Notice of Copyright Infringement – "In the Electric Mist"

Image Entertainment Inc. is the owner of the exclusive rights to the film "In The Electric Mist" starring Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman. I am the director of Business affairs and authorized to act on behalf of Image Entertainment.

The copyrighted work appears on your site as: In the Electric Mist and can be found via search: http://digg.com/celebrity/In_the_electric_mist_Watch_Movie_Online_Free_No_Kidding)

This use is unauthorized and it is our good faith belief the infringement is not authorized by the agent or owner of the exclusive rights. The information contained herein is accurate and I declare under penalty of perjury that my action and the actions of Image herein are by the copyright owner.

Nothing contained herein shall be deemed a waiver or relinquishment of Image Entertainment’s rights at law or in equity.

The submission in question can be found here. DIGG has removed the link to the site where you can watch the movie for free. DIGG has complied with the take down notice to avoid any further legal actions from Image Entertainment.

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However, the original submission, including the link to the movie can still be found in the Google Cache:

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Here you can click on the link, which takes you to the site where you can see the embedded movie In The Electric Mist for free.

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The movie itself has been uploaded on Megavideo.com. Find the movie here.

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Megavideo is a site registered in HongKong.

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It must be extremely difficult for Image Entertainment to clean up the free distribution of the movies that are uploaded on Megavideo.

The questions here remain,

  1. Did Image Entertainment sent a take down notice to Google to clear the cache of the DIGG URL as well?
  2. Is Image Entertainment just going after links to the individual webmaster who links to the (embedded) movie?
  3. How the hell do these guys of Image Entertainment can police the Internets and go after all websites that post links to the free movie on some China site which they cannot sue?
  4. Has the movie industry learned from the music industry, or will they make the same mistakes?
  5. Will Image Entertainment send me a C&D notice for posting the link here?

So for the last time:

In the electric mist - Watch Movie Online Free! No Kidding

Link to movie

Will You Link To Me..?!?.. I Will SUE Your ASS…!!!

About Image entertainment:

Image Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISK) is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires, licenses, finances and produces exclusive content for worldwide video distribution through its direct relationships with major North American retailers and foreign sublicensees such as Sony/BMG and Warner Music. Founded in 1981, the company has over 2500 exclusive DVD titles and approximately 200 exclusive audio titles in release. Image houses a complete full service graphic arts department that creates all of the packaging for the company’s products as well as all of the sales collateral; over 90% of the company's production work is completed internally with state-of-the-art equipment and a team of experienced technicians that carry out every step of the DVD creation process. The company continues to release an average of 30 new exclusive DVDs and four new exclusive audio titles per month across a wide range of programming.

About Chilling Effects Clearinghouse:

A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.

Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.

Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. But we've noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to "chill" legitimate activity.

The website offers background material and explanations of the law for people whose websites deal with topics such as Fan Fiction, Copyright, Domain Names and Trademarks, Anonymous Speech, and Defamation.

In addition, we want your help. We are gathering a searchable database of Cease and Desist notices sent to Internet users like you. We invite you to input Cease and Desist letters that you've received into our database, to document the chill. We will respond by linking the legalese in the letters to FAQs that explain the allegations in plain English.

Top 10 2008 Top Ten Lists

On Digg a Top 10 list will get you far. The site is full with Top 10 lists of best, worst or strangest lists. The homepage is full with Top 10 lists.

2008 Top 10 DIGG's Top Ten lists

1 The Top Ten Reasons Why Kanye West Is A Douche

Posted on November 14, just a couple of weeks ago. The post went hot with 4350 Diggs.

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Kanye West is a douche for many, many reasons, but it is easy to falter and find yourself thinking "Man, that Kanye's a pretty wicked dude".  It happens to the best of us, we falter at times, but it shouldn't have to happen.  I have narrowed the proofs of his douchiness down to a ten-point emergency checklist that folds easily into your pocket or wallet for those times when his blinding douchebaggery eludes you.

Top 10 Wrong Placed Ads

Posted July 21, went hot hot with 4147 Diggs.

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A great post with funny ads. Especially the "Got a Giant Thirst?" or the two CD covers.image

Top 10 Shirts To Get Arrested In

Posted April 14, and went hot with 3995 Diggs.

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What would have mother have said after seeing this picture on the Internet?

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After an all night drinking binge things went a little too far. You find yourself in jail holding up a sign and getting a picture you will never forget. As much as this bites, at least you aren?t these guys? or are you?

4 Top 10 Products Only Douchebags Buy

Posted March 19, went hot with 3964 Diggs.

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Awesome: A set of balls for your truck

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There are some things that scream out "I'm a huge douchebag!" in a way that makes you stop, take in what you've just witnessed, and then give a silent nod of confirmation that "yes, that is one giant douchebag." These are ten items so intrinsically douchey they could take even the most dignified gentleman and make him look like a raging jackass.

5 Top 10 BitTorrent Tools and Tricks

Posted January 30, went hot with 3894 Diggs.

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Lifehacker is a major contributor to the top Digg posts, and has three places in this Top 10 list, of which this is the first.

BitTorrent is the go-to resource for downloading everything from music and movies to software and operating systems, but as its popularity continues to grow, so do the number of tools available for making the most of it. Some are must-haves, while others are a waste of time. Climb aboard for a look at 10 of the best BitTorrent utilities, tools, and resources for finding and managing your BitTorrent downloads quickly and efficiently.

6 Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks

Posted January 2, went hot with 3736 Diggs.

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When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: finding exact phrases matches using quotes like "so say we all" or searching a single site using site:lifehacker.com gmail. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little input box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we're skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.

My personal favorite always has been: "Find music and comic books", but now that I live in the US, I'm a little more careful downloading copy righted materials.

Top 10 Banned Books

Went hot with 3576 Diggs.

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Time magazine feels out of place here, as the magazine probably is not aiming to become a Digg front page story.

Since 1982, the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week to pay tribute to free speech and open libraries. The tradition began as a nod to how far society has come since 1557, when Pope Paul IV first established The Index of Prohibited Books to protect Catholics from controversial ideas. Four-hundred and nine years later, Pope Paul VI would abolish it, although attempts at censorship still remain. Here, TIME presents some of the most challenged books of all time.

8 Top 10 Signs You Drank Too Much

Posted on November 24, went hot with 3519 Diggs.

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We?ve all done it, but usually when we do, we do it on the couch and wake up with dicks on our face. But if you?ve got no friends and no where to go, you?re likely one of the following top 10.

These are the top 10 signs you drank too much.

9 Top 10 Harmless Geek Pranks

Posted on March 31, went hot with 3501 Diggs.

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Since the dawn of time, geeks have been playing harmless pranks on their beloved (but unsuspecting) associates, and it's up to all of us to carry the torch forward. On the eve of April Fools' Day, when you've got local network access to your coworkers' and family systems, cubicles just crying out to be filled with packing peanuts, and webapps that can do all sorts of things automatically, there's no better time to baffle, confuse, perplex, and just plain mess with your loved ones and associates. Hit the jump for our top 10 favorite harmless geek pranks, just in time to get your prankster pistons firing for tomorrow.

The last contribution of three from Lifehacker.com. All these pranks are pretty awesome, so watch out for your colleague leaving their cubicle without locking their computer. That's your chance...

10 Top 10 Angry On-Camera Meltdowns

Posted on May 13, went hot with 3495 Diggs.

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Video guru Richard Blakeley ... collected ten of our very favorite meltdowns by people whose job it is to not curse on TV. Some of these went out live, some were stolen from satellite feeds, but they're all golden.

Top 10 list all times

6 of the 10 Top 10 list of all times on Digg have been submitted in 2008. It appears that Top 10 lists are getting even more popular, or the quality is getting better.

The number one Top 10 list is still the Top 10 Freeware Software Nobody Knows About - But Should. With 5062 Diggs the absolute #1 of the Top 10 lists.

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Can any Top 10 list push this one off the #1 in 2009? Let's see next year!

DIGG is looking for user retention

DIGG is looking to retain and drive more activity from their current user base. Also the social voting site is looking to increase the number of users, who must submit, vote and comment on the news or sites that are submitted and strive for the ultimate traffic generator: DIGG's homepage.

I spotted the job search for a Senior Marketing Manager by DIGG on the Techcrunch job board. It's a Directors level job, based in San Francisco.

From the job description you can find some of the struggles that DIGG is coping with:

We are currently looking for a Senior Marketing Manager to develop and drive Digg’s marketing strategy and programs. S/he will lead customer acquisition and growth, manage external agencies and drive consumer insights and marketing strategies. The Senior Marketing Manager will manage a team and reports to the Senior Director of Marketing.

The requirements speak of a somewhat VC pushed list. It looks like DIGG is in need to build their brand out even more:

Experienced Marketing Manager with at least 8-10 years overall business experience. At least 5-7 years of relevant experience in product marketing and/or brand management. At least 2 years of experience managing direct reports.

And:

Bachelors degree required and top tier MBA a strong plus.

I can hardly wait until they start implementing the strategies from their candidate, so we can see the hand mark of such a person who meets these requirements:

Experience in marketing/brand management that includes: creation and execution of marketing strategies and plans, experience managing external vendors and agencies, experience in new media, and driving non-traditional guerilla, viral and/or event marketing.

Next to the Senior Marketing Manager, DIGG is also looking for a Marketing Manager:

We are currently looking for a Marketing Manager to support Digg’s marketing programs and tactics. The ideal candidate will be extremely proactive, flexible and has a consumer marketing background. S/he should have a personal passion for web technologies, work effectively within a team environment and be comfortable working in a highly self-directed manner. 

It looks like DIGG is growing up in the world. Looking for ways to build the brand, and with the brand the traffic and activity on the Digg website.