Why Aren’t Open Source Projects on Digg More Often?

Digg and Open SourceJoomlaCode.org was released last week, and it was a major step forward for Joomla.

Despite this good news the story didn’t make it far beyond the Joomla community. Amy Stephen posted on her blog, urging people to vote for it on Digg.com, but the story ended up with 40 votes. That’s about 10% of the votes normally needed to make the Digg frontpage.

That poor showing got me asking a simple question….Why aren’t Open Source projects more sucessfull on social news sites?

Which Project has Been Most Successful So Far?

Pretty clear results here….

A search for major WordPress posts on Digg reveals:

  • A list of 85 beautiful WordPress themes got 2559 diggs
  • A list of top WordPress plugins got 1554 diggs
  • An Ajax enhancement to WordPress got 1385 diggs
  • Another list of top WordPress plugins got 1319 diggs

A search for major Drupal posts on Digg reveals:

  • The launch of Drupal 5.0 got 1366 diggs
  • The news that Drupal will have a web-based installer got 782 diggs
  • The launch of Drupal 4.7 got 779 diggs
  • The launch of Drupal 5.0 Beta 1 got 745 diggs

A search for major Joomla posts on Digg reveals:

  • The launch of Joomla 1.5 got 483 diggs
  • The launch of Joomla 1.0 got 435 diggs
  • Joomla winning “Best Open Source Project” got 419 diggs
  • Joomla winning the Pakt CMS prize got 329 diggs

Can Open Source Projects Do Better?

Absolutely. Open Source projects already have the three main resources they need to dominate the social networking new sites:

  • A large number of enthusiastic readers who are keen to help promote the projects.
  • Regular, interesting news and updates that are relevant to Digg’s technology obsessed readers.
  • Strong, reputable brands that make people much more likely to digg and much less likely to bury a sory.

Why Should Open Source Projects Do Better?


Its a simple as that. In 2007, very few online marketing techniques can match getting dugg when it comes to rich rewards for little effort. No matter how many press releases you issue, I can guarantee that you won’t get as many links, eyeballs, or visits as you will when if you’re story hits the Digg frontpage.

How Can Open Source Projects Do Better?

  • By trying to encourage users to help promote the project. A little bit of community education can go a long way.
  • Adding a large, obvious Digg button to the most important news stories and removing the button after 3/4 days.
  • Find one person in the community who is a keen Digg user and has the connections and motiviation to get a story dugg heavily. For Drupal, this is Robert Douglass.

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