Monday, November 27, 2006

On Spike The Vote (now it's for sale?) - Updated

Update - 11/27/06: It looks like someone got busted by digg for using the spike the vote system. His account and ip were both banned. Long story short, Don't use the service.

Also, the bidding is up to $1026 for the site.

News - 11/18/06: I was working on this post when I noticed that Spike The Vote is now for sale. Here is a link to the auction.

Several weeks ago, a new service called Spike the Vote was announced promising huge page views for people untalented enough to create what I like to call 'good content'. Some of my content would probably fall into that category, but instead of joining a losers support group, I try to make better content. (It still probably sucks anyway) Without further adieu, the launch of this service went something like that of a man announcing his impotence.

First of all, it is fairly easy to see what stories are submitted by the people attempting to spike the vote. For example, of the 3 missions assigned to me, I was able to easily sniff out 2 of the offending sites, the third offender was a toss up between a couple sites. Adsense is a often a dead giveaway though having adsense means nothing in itself.

Second, it is obvious to see which users use spike the vote. When a user is assigned 5 stories, other spikethevote users are also assigned the same 5 stories. A simple cross reference of the 'who dugg this' page reveals similarities, a digging history check of those users reveals the same 5 stories dugg in the exact same order. Coincidence? I think not.

Third, as for huge page views, there aren't any. While I noticed that each mission included a story submitted by a top user to try and fool people. These stories were quality and reached the homepage anyway. As for the others, the most diggs I saw was around 25 or so.

***Disclaimer*** I signed up for the luxury of writing a post about it and engaged in no shady behavior. I didn't digg anything assigned. Had I needed to submit or digg a story to be gamed in order to get a mission, I wouldn't have.

1 comment:

Muhammad Saleem said...

If anything, Spike The Vote is another nuisance that social bookmarking sites will have to get around. Good social bookmarking behavior (for content producers) is to produce good content and let the community decide what to do with it.

I spoke to Matt Sparkes (Web Editor and in charge of SMO at newscientist.com) and asked him:

Social Bookmarking sites regularly see publications contributing to the sites and then manipulating the posts (by group voting and so forth) and gaming the system to bring traffic to their sites, how do you feel about that, and what in your mind would be the proper way to leverage the power of social media?

His response: http://themulife.com/?p=233

I completely agree with him. Of course the community has its flaws too, but don't game the system.