When Sphinn first came out, I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Finally, a place where I could read all the best search engine marketing, pay-per-click and social media news. Good-bye Digg. Hello Sphinn.
I recommend Sphinn as a resource to every single newbie SEO I know. After all, this is the closest to peer review we have in the search engine marketing world. The content should be good. Actually, since SEOs are supposed to be content specialists, it should be great.
I am here to say that lately, it’s been anything but great. As I write this, there are at least 6 articles on the front page of Sphinn that most likely got there through manipulation – not actual peer review. Bad articles are getting to the front page. Digg is the same way. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the ugly secret of social media.
Ok, so this brings me to another topic – and one that I have done a 180 on in the past 6 months. Sphinn is the perfect example for why social media, in it’s current form, will eventually fall on itself and die.
At it’s best, Social Media is a celebration of the best content there is. Peer reviewed for accuracy, entertainment and usefulness. The cream rises to the top, as they say. At it’s worst, Social media could be a collection of self-congratulatory content from quasi internet celebrities who are dehydrated from the extended circle jerk of Digging, Sphinning and Redditing (is that the term) their friends. That would still be ok with me. The content that is getting to the top was still "peer reviewed" even if the peers are merely admirers or friends of the content originator.
The dirt secret of social media is the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands of individuals successfully gaming these systems. These folks use multiple profiles, bots, scripts and other items at their disposal to push content – either theirs or their clients – to the top. So much for the "people’s utopia" or "ultimate transperancy" that social media promised just one year ago. With some savvy, there are those that can push anything to the top, and also those who know how to bring down things as well.
How do I know? Well lets just say I’ve been privvy to this type of thing. Many in the Social Media Community who speak of "community trust" are the ones who are behind the push of useless crap to the top.
Ok, have I been on my soapbox long enough. Here’s my request…use the merit of your content (or even your reputation) to get your content to the top of the social media heap. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t use 1,423 profiles on 200 IP classes with e-mails all over the place to get there. You’re ruining it for the rest of us who want to use the information for purposes other than self-congratulation or short-term moentary gain.
Now, let the comments fly.