Overview: The nachos bell grande of social news sites, Digg is a force that cannot be ignored in the social media realm.

Defined: Created in October of 2004, Digg’s popularity has skyrocketed with now an anticipated 3 million plus users. Nothing quite compares to the power of this beast. Like most other social news sites, Digg allows users to submit links to content around the web into a particular category on the site. Once the content has been submitted it’s up to Digg’s users to vote up (or Digg naturally) the stories that are most interesting to them or vice versa. The highest ranking stories filter through Digg’s algorithm and land neatly on the homepage. However, scoring a spot on Digg’s coveted ‘Top in All Topics’ list or even on the homepage is no easy feat, and many sites that do make it to the list can’t handle the onslaught of redirected traffic once they get there.

You may have doubts about the effectiveness of a system run by the people, but I will vouch that most often the good people of Digg produce some fantastic content so you don’t have to find it yourself. That being said, like many sites that are run by the tech savvy, Digg users tend to stand on the left of the political spectrum. That’s not to say that content of a less progressive standpoint can’t make it to the homepage, but I thought I’d throw that in as an FYI.

Once you create a personal Digg account of your very own, you can easily customize your own homepage, create a profile, and make friends with other Digg users as well.

Business Applications: Digg has enormous business application and possibility. Imagine the rush of traffic that landing on the homepage can contribute to your website or blog (we’re talking tens of thousands of click throughs). So how does one go about landing an article on the front page of Digg? Obviously there isn’t an exact science to this, it’s incredibly competitive. I will say most articles that make it do so because the user posting to Digg has a well established network of friends on Digg. You can’t just drop an article on the homepage without contributing to the site, well usually anyway.

Like other social networking sites, it’s important to make quality contributions, develop friendships with powerful and active players, vote for articles from your connections, and make appropriate comments. Comments are actually a little known way for users to drive some secondary traffic to their own sites. For instance; a link to your website about strategies for surviving a zombie outbreak would be an excellent addition in the comments section of a homepage Digg article on the newest Resident Evil video game. Get it?

Recommendation: The bottom line is, to get anything out of Digg you must first put something in. Usually. The payoff for proficient Digg users can easily overload your servers with juicy traffic. I recommend Digg for people that are willing to invest the necessary time, otherwise you can expect little success from the beast that is Digg.