Daily Dot interested in covering Reddit, Digg, 4Chan, not so interested in letting users share their content on them
The Daily Dot, a digital “newspaper” that will cover social media communities—think Reddit, Digg, 4Chan—like metro beats, is a great idea. It’s easy to see where the traffic will come from: Not only will the locals clamor to see their names “in print,” but the outsiders, intimidated yet intrigued by sites like 4Chan, will stop by to gawk at the exotic products of these communities’ cultivated insularity.
It’s a win-win, except for one small thing: They are neither interested in making it easy to share their content on anything but Twitter and Facebook, nor are they interested in tracking its popularity on other social media sites.
The question is why. Now, I think there may actually be a reason for this—aside from your usual startup hiccup. These guys know these communities. They know how their users operate. I don’t think they saw it as a conflict of interest or playing favorites. That would be taking the newspaper metaphor a bit too far. I think there’s a deeper explanation for it: Those social media buttons just don’t work.
We have had clients tell us that only Twitter and Facebook integration has been successful in driving significant traffic to the site and while its nice to include the Reddit and Digg icons, they do nothing. If that is the case, then it would make sense that the editors of the Daily Dot thought that the inclusion of those buttons would undermine their credibility, as those buttons demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how those communities function. Am I warm?
So what does that mean to a site whose sole purpose is to cover these communities? Truthfully, the most reasonable explanation is that this is a startup and they just haven’t gotten around to it. But even that explanation hints at a real issue: if it’s something that can be easily omitted, how important is this kind of social media integration to an editorial product?