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There's been a lot of buzz on how supporters of Israel "discovered" Facebook as a means to tell this country's side of the story in the Gaza conflict. But I haven't seen too much about using social-book-marking sites, like Digg.com or Reddit. And that's a shame, because those sites have a much greater potential reach, with a more sophisticated and intelligent audience.
That's not to put down Facebook users, of course. I'm on there too, as I'm sure many of you are. But let's face it, it's nice that there are dozens of pro-Israel support groups on FB, but they basically "preach to the converted."
Of course, we need to encourage "our own" to stand up and be counted, but there's little value-added in the effort; those who are anti-Israel will remain so, while the vast majority who are on the fence or have never thought about the issue are not using FB for their political information. Lest we forget, FB's real purpose is to encourage Internet social corrections.
That's not the case for Digg.com or the dozens of other social-book-marking sites (http://xrl.us/beczuc), where people go to actually find out new information, to know more about topics they may have heard about in the news, or just to "browse" and increase their knowledge of the world around them.
Digg and its relatives are more "viral," as well, meaning they have a much greater chance of getting "pushed" to more people.
A "good Digg" could get your site or blog hundreds or thousands of hits, spreading the word on the network of social-book-marking sites - and coming back for more. All you need is a good come-on (i.e. article or post title) and some interesting information - and, of course, someone to submit your site to the Digg list (usually accomplished by the clicking of a Digg button on your site, which submits it to the Digg.com site; the more people who click on it, the better).
Based on my perusal of Digg and similar sites in recent weeks, we need more pro-Israel articles to appear on the front page. The "anti" crowd has long used social book-marking to promote its agenda (many of them using shady tactics such as establishing "Digg clubs," where members surf the net promoting each others postings), with the result that if you surf to Digg.com or Reddit.com, search terms like "Israel," "Gaza," "Zionism," etc., to get an idea of what I'm talking about. If there's one thing Digg users are looking for, it's both sides of the story - and right now, only one side is on display.
Fortunately, there is a large body of information on the Internet describing how to promote sites and links in Digg and Digg-like sites. Most of the information relates to promoting commercial sites or business ideas. But if you can use business tactics to promote moneymaking ideas, why not use them to promote pro-Israel ideas? It's actually good practice, too; when you perfect your skills at promoting Israel's story, you can use your newfound expertise to promote your own site, too!
Because there's money at stake (in the form of user clicks, Google rankings, etc.), there are lots of advice sites out there. Some of them have good advice - like the ideas at http://xrl.us/beczts. This site recommends a 12-step program that essentially promotes networking with others at blogs and sites to promote your cause, along with informal mutual cooperation to convince others to promote your link.
Titles are important, according to http://xrl.us/beczt8, which helpfully suggests, "Catchy titles and descriptions usually do better then dull titles and descriptions." This site (http://xrl.us/beczue) tells you how to get to the top of the Reddit page - and make money from it! And http://xrl.us/beczun tells you how Digg and other social-book-marking sites work - their underlying philosophy, and what the front pages of the sites are looking for in posts and submissions.
There are other ways to promote sites on Digg, but I wouldn't recommend using them. There are "pay to Digg" sites, for example, which claims to pay out (half a buck!) for Diggs by users. (If you want to get Dugg, it will cost you $20!) Users who want to get paid get a list of five articles to Digg, and when they are verified, they get a credit in their account; after you "earn" $20, they'll forward the money to your Paypal account. (You have to Digg 200 stories to make that kind of money!)
There are also "Digg clubs" or "buzz clubs" out there (http://xrl.us/beczuz), where you agree with others in your club to Digg or otherwise promote each other's stories. The Digg people are wise to this, though, and if they get wise to you, you could get banned (http://xrl.us/beczu7).
While most of the concern over phony Diggs and Digging revolve around misuse of the system to make money, you wouldn't want similar charges to hamper your efforts to promote Israel in the social-book-marking world.
So efforts to get users together specifically to click on links are out. But there's nothing wrong with urging members of your own interest group to check out your own links - and to Digg them as well.
This is where your membership in Facebook Israel groups can come in handy - since the people in those groups are already predisposed to checking out positive news about Israel, anyway. If you're on Facebook, check out http://xrl.us/beczvf, where you can install the Facebook/Digg app in your account. The app shows people who log onto your page the last five stories you Dugg - giving them some material to check out and promote, in the effort to promote Israel's story on-line.
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