Thursday, February 05, 2009

Village Voice Media scamming "the system"

Before I get too "inside baseball" here, Village Voice Media owns alt-weeklies across the country including City Pages right here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul and any credit for breaking their essential scamming of Digg goes to The Deets.

However, after reading Ed's investigative piece at The Deets first thing this morning, I've done some digging (no pun intended) on the subject for myself.

The web "geniuses" at the various VVM properties across the country had to think that eventually someone would put the pieces together and when City Pages publisher Kevin Hoffman bragged about almost inachievable traffic increases in the past couple months, something smelled fishy.

I know that traffic doesn't grow at those rates through organic measures. I can also attest (at MinnPics) that one quality Stumble can blow the roof off one's traffic. However, it dies off just as quickly as it arrived. That's where the real value in building an organic base of readers comes in. They keep coming back because they like what they are reading. I've had insane traffic bumps on here because people incessantly Google related topics (think camel toe, nipples and olympics) and they kept coming back. To me that proves having valuable keywords is far better than sinking huge amounts of paid time into an internal Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon/Newsvine/Mixx.

Lastly, gaming the system like Village Voice Media is doing devalues the entire online ad market. As if things didn't suck enough in trying to transition print dollars to online dollars, some greedy suits at VVM get exposed on a national level and could end up essentially ruining the livelihood of thousands of Americans.

While it's okay to Digg your own content, conspiring with others to reciprocate Diggs is clearly wrong. Call it Diggwhoring but City Pages and VVM just got busted.

1 comment:

Miss Missives said...

You've been reviewed, try not to cry.