What is The Difference Between Digg and StumbleUpon Users?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Angel Cuala asked:

How would you differentiate the users of SU and Digg? I ask this because SU has been my top referral site in terms of traffic, although I don’t send any of my posts there. I sometimes send my posts to Digg, and I know it is a sin. However, I also submit other bloggers’ posts.

Can I conclude that Digg users prefer news posts, which is not my blog topic? Or basically, Digg users hate me because I submit my posts?

First of all, regarding the difference between Digg and StumbleUpon users, I would say that Digg users are relatively younger and more tech-savvy. The technology niche is undoubtedly the main one on Digg, and while there are many StumbleUpon users that are also tech fans, the overall population of its users is more heterogeneous (i.e. there are also many users that like videos, funny pictures, how-to guides and so on).

Keep in mind that this is what I have observed by using those services, and other people might disagree.

One essential difference between the two services, though, is how they work. Digg has an upcoming section on their website, where users are able to vote the stories up or down. The traffic that you would get from getting listed on the upcoming section alone, however, is not very big, because there are thousands of others being submitted every day.

Should your story receive enough votes to break to the front page (those days this happens at 150 diggs or so, but varies a lot), you would see a huge traffic spike, because virtually all Digg users keep an eye on the stories that go to the front page. It is not uncommon to receive over 100,000 visits in a single day from a Digg front page, in fact.

As you can see, Digg works under a “make or break” situation. Your content either gets enough traction to go popular and hit the front page, sending you a horde of traffic, or it doesn’t, in which case it will join the thousands of other stories that never get enough exposure or traffic.

StumbleUpon, on the other hand, works with a browser toolbar where its users vote the web pages that they see up or down. The higher the number of up votes, the more people will see the page via the Stumble toolbar. The difference here is that it is a continual process, and not a binary one. As a result, you will end up getting some traffic for most of your pages that end up on the StumbleUpon database, even if they don’t receive many up votes. Traffic spikes are also possible with StumbleUpon if a lot of people vote your story up in a short period of time.

Secondly, the StumbleUpon traffic is gradual and can last for a long time. If people keep giving your story or web page an up vote, it will keep showing to Stumble users, sometimes for months after it was first submitted.

On the second part of your question you asked: Can I conclude that Digg users prefer news posts, which is not my blog topic?

News posts tend to perform better on Digg than on StumbleUpon, but I would not conclude that merely from the fact that your posts never got any traffic from Digg. As you can see from my explanation, the cause of that might be the fact that they never got enough traction (i.e. votes) to go forward. Should your blog keep growing its audience, one day it could starting seeing better results with Digg, even if your content style won’t change.

Then you ask said: Digg users hate me because I submit my posts?

I don’t think that is the case either. Digg users would hardly notice if you submit your own blog posts once in a while, especially if they never get close to becoming popular. This is only an issue if you end up submitting each and every new post your publish, regardless of their quality, and if you try to further manipulate the system by asking all your friends to Digg your story even if other Digg users won’t find it worth.



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12 Responses to “What is The Difference Between Digg and StumbleUpon Users?”

  • Jason

    I’m not too fond of many Digg users. Many Digg users are dumb. While are intelligent though, many aren’t. Look at the comments, most users try to come up with some clever, catchy phrase just to get more diggs, and dont bother to make a comment with any insight. Most comments are quite redundant. And the vast majority are complete fucking assholes that exploit any opportunity they have to disparage other users.

    They also follow the trend of a comment’s popularity to choose whether they digg or bury a comment. For example, if a comment starts off with a couple buries, users will continue to bury them and will end up with a large amount amount of buries. While other comments that start off with a couple diggs, will end up with many digs. This is all Regardless of whether the comment is smart, clever and insightful, so-so or downright mindless idiotic.

    A few weeks ago, I did and experiment where I made a dozen Digg accounts, and chose a comment that had 5 buries. I used my accounts to bring it up to 6 diggs, lo and behold a few hours later, the comment had 28 diggs. I’ve also done the opposite with the same results.

  • medyum

    I was going to look into Digg but after reading the post and comments I think as a newbie I would turn into the Christmas goose very quickly !It saddens me that there are groups of people who may have tremendous knowledge on a subject, but are so quick to pass judgment and pour scorn on the ones who don´t possess the same level of technical expertise or have a differing opinion than theirs.

  • Tyler Hayes

    Thanks for writing this up! Was very informative and pretty much the only decent article I could find on this topic on the first page of Google results.

  • Andrea Hill

    I’m surprised by your suggestion that Digg users are younger. I see Digg as this intimidating scene, whereas anyone can get into stumbleupon, and get something out of it. The barrier to entry is much lower.

  • Angel Cuala

    That was a very keen observation, Daniel. I now have a clearer vision of these two social sites. Anyway, I am not anymore submitting my posts to them as I leave my readers to share my posts anywhere they want.

    Thanks for answering all my questions, and I think this is now my fourth one.

    I may still ask another one later.

  • Paull Hamilton

    Wow,

    I was going to look into Digg but after reading the post and comments I think as a newbie I would turn into the Christmas goose very quickly !

    It saddens me that there are groups of people who may have tremendous knowledge on a subject, but are so quick to pass judgment and pour scorn on the ones who don´t possess the same level of technical expertise or have a differing opinion than theirs.

    My best wishes to you for the Christmas season and for 2009

    Paull

  • Yuuzaa

    I’m new in Digg, also in StumbleUpon, therefore thank you for the information.

  • rizzy

    Digg is very harsh at its users. If you don’t have a stable blog, or if you don’t provide the source with the content you actually own, digg will ban you. I started a photoblog at http://yeeeeee.com and I give full credit for my source of information, yet they banned my site. Digg says they are powered by its users. But really they just are looking to get as many pageviews as possible.
    Regards: rizzy
    http://twitter.com/rizzy81

  • VitaminCM

    I’m a big fan of using StumbleUpon to bring traffic to my site. It is way more effective than Digg. I still see a few visits a day on articles that were thumbed over a year ago.
    Digg is only good for 2-3 days.
    send me a shout
    http://misterchris.stumbleupon.com

  • Himanshu

    Well, this is a well known fact that Digg Users hate everything about blogging, SEO , Internet Marketing etc. You must be knowing, John Chow is banned from Digg and people at Digg never reconsidered unbanning him.

    And you’ve very rightly said that Digg users are tech-savvy. But if you observe the trend there are few Digg users who have very high authority. If they Dugg a story then it is likely to be on the front page as other fellow diggers try to follow them because of their popularity.

    On the other hand, I believe Digg results can be manipulated, you’ve to be very careful while submitting your post. Few buries can let your post nowhere in the picture no matter whatever quality content you’ve written.

    And to end, you have to be lucky enough to get your post noticed and get some initial reputation too. Timings also does matter while digging.

    But still I’d say – 3 cheers for Kevin Rose !!!

  • Free Acai Berry

    I get all kinds of stumbleupon traffic to my sites and next to no digg traffic. Propeller and Mix are much better than digg from what I have seen.

  • Blog Expert

    I can not stand digg users. They are good if you want links to your content. Otherwise they’re pretty useless. For Stumbleupon they are more worthy of the information you are giving them. But they do not always turn into subscribers. They are way more polite though when you are using the stumbleupon service unlike digg users. Digg users can definitely be big assholes.

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