Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Sphinn User's Opinion about Gaming Sphinn

As it's well known, Digg, Youtube and many other social sites are "gamed" by marketers looking to drive traffic from those sites, or gain rankings on Google. However, many people resent when search marketers try to "game" a search marketing social site - a la sphinn - and take some strong steps to encourage "good behavior".

Karl Ribas posted an interesting article about the wrongfulness of gaming the Sphinn system. He feels that good content will get there by itself. Below is my own opinion.

I'm not sure I agree with you 100% about not "gaming the system". Every system is there to be played. Politics, business, search marketing you name it. Everyone wants to be top dog - or be the expert, listened, be able to rant, generate "engagement", whatever the metric.

The goal of sphinn is to get relevant information to the right people. As people that are involved in SMO, we all know that the more we have connections / relationships / links / authority from other people in our industry, the more we can do.

While I can't sell my search marketing services to a search marketer, I can refer an SEM client, if I only do SEO. Or he can license my software, I can learn his technique regarding Log analysis, subscribe to his feed, get a reference and so much more.

The best way to gain credibility is to get a referral from someone else. I see nothing wrong with "gaming the system", as long as the product / information you are providing actually provides value to the end user.

(If my goal was to gain more friends to game the system, I just messed myself over!)

I do believe that Karl probably wouldn't argue with most of this. It's more a matter of a bunch of idiots that don't know how to provide valuable articles to sphinn, and would rather spam a tech savvy audience (idiots).


Michael said...

I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to sphinn, and I know this. While I'm fine with gaming every other system, I owe sphinn too much to not protect it. Coming to sphinn, I had few, if any connections within the SEO industry, and almost no subscribers. Now I have over 1000, and more friends and associates than I can even easily keep in touch with.
I figure I owe them something for that.

About Results Marketing said...

LOL. I'm just starting to really learn how to use (not game) sphinn.

You had an issue with Spammers. I agree with you 100%. While you don't have problems with that type of spamming on other sites - I don't like the practice if it isn't sustainable. That means that the content isn't of interest to most of the users - and leaves a bad user experience. (I don't have a problem with multiple accounts).

I don't have problems though with "cheating" to get your content up first. E.g. having friends spin your content for you, gaming the SEO system etc.

The whole "build good content and the traffic will come", or the "write good content and the sphinns will come" attitudes are complete bullshit. There's alot of good content that's not appreciated because people don't know the author, or it's not perceived as being popular.

Mike said...

Ah there we go. Very true in many. Whoever first said "content is king" should be shot. However, it's not as difficult as people think to get themselves as a recognized figure on sphinn.
Honestly most good content I've seen fail has been because the user was too lazy to change his damn avatar or create a decent title.
Before going the other avenues, most people should just try that.
(PS:I have no idea if this is the same account I was on before, but it's still me)

About Results Marketing said...

checking my avatar :)