You’ll have noticed that I’ve got rather carried away with social bookmarking “vote” buttons (to the right if you are reading the blog at source). Why? Well, LibDig has been a small success but I’m keen to explore how to what extent I can use these things to widen my blogs’ reach. I started experimenting with Politigg and I’ve brought that back. But I’ve also added buttons for Wikio and Digg.
What’s interesting with the other two is that although I’ve been aware of both for some time, I’ve never used them in the same way that I take LibDig for granted. The reason is that they seem like too big a pool to dip into. Unless you are already established, you sink in them like a stone (this is more true of Digg, but then Digg appears to get used far more). My question is, can a good rating on one website lead to popularity on another? It remains to be seen.
Another thing I’ve done is to automatically not include Politigg and LibDig buttons for my non-political posts, which is why neither appear to the side of this post!
It’s interesting how there appears to be a Digg divide, incidentally. I can’t find a single post by either Iain Dale or Guido Fawkes on the site, despite their popularity in the UK political blogosphere and despite the former, at least, having Digg buttons on his posts. How does one break into it, I wonder?
The more eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that I’ve replaced my Politigg buttons with LibDig buttons. Built by LibDem codebodger Ryan Cullen, LibDig has the potential, in my opinion anyway, to be the biggest thing to happen to the Lib Dem Blogosphere since LibDemBlogs (which Ryan also built).
The beauty of LibDemBlogs, unlike anything else out there, is it’s democracy. Anyone who is a party member can have their feed included in the aggregator and as such unknowns can become must reads literally over a couple of weeks. The downside is that it does not seperate the wheat from the chaff, or perhaps somewhat more positively, of highlighting the best of the Lib Dem blogs. That function has been done by Stephen Tall with his weekly Golden Dozen, but even that has its disadvantages as Stephen himself has ruminated about on more than one occasion. It only highlights the most read, which is not neccessarily the best (as someone who has gamed the system simply by using “EXCLUSIVE” in a blog post on more than one occasion, I can testify to that). LibDigs is designed to complement LibDemBlogs rather than replace it by making it easier to find the “best” but in an equally democratic way. I hope that if it proves to be a success, Stephen will start using it for the basis of his five “recommended” posts.
So LibDig is about lauding the best of the Lib Dem blogosphere, but fundamentally it can also be used to recommend anything out there on the internet (Ryan has already built a bookmarklet to make this as simple as possible). And because its membership is restricted to party members (which – another plus – means you only need to use your login.libdems.org.uk login and don’t need to go through yet another registration process), what that means is that over time it can be used to build up a map of what Lib Dems consider to be the best of the internet.
For me, and I suspect many others, that is useful because I’m always looking for a good way to both find out what’s out there and to put things out myself. All social bookmarking websites are only as useful as who is using them. The problem I have with Digg is that its pool is so enormous I don’t get a look in. The problem with Politigg is that it is predominently used by rightwingers with their requisite obsessions about the beastliness of Gordon Brown, the EU and English Parliaments. I’d rather see what people with a similar political outlook to me consider to be important.
So thanks again to Ryan for building it, and I hope as many people as possible out there will begin bookmarking with it and adding LibDig buttons to their blogs (it has already been integrated with LibDemBlogs, LibDemVoice and FlockTogether which should give it a good kickstart). I’m just a little disappointed he didn’t use my suggestion of having a special section about the US Presidential Race called LibDigOnAPig.
I’ve been experimenting with Politigg for a few days now and am currently in the happy position of dominating most of its pages. But that isn’t really much use if the reason is that no-one else uses it. So what do people think? A bad idea entirely? I should promote a social bookmarking site but not this one? Anyone else willing to experiment?
I’ve added a poll in my sidebar, but what I’d really like from people is comments to this post.
For a trial basis I’ve added Politigg buttons on my blog posts. Although I have a ShareThis hoojamaflip at the bottom of my posts from which you can use any standard social bookmarking website, it doesn’t appear to generate much usage and the appeal of Politigg is that is specifically focuses on politics, which is my field (I’ll add a “geekigg” button as well should one become available).
The problem I have with all these social bookmarking websites is that there are so many of them. With no gold standard, it gets a bit frenetic. So whether I stick with Politigg depends entirely on whether others do the same.
UPDATE: One thing I should add though is that I am intrigued that under ‘political parties’ Politigg offers you the choice of the Libertarian Party and the English Democrats, but not the SWP, Respect or any other established hard left party (no NI parties either). So it is clear where the developers are coming from!