I remembered reading a blog post by Jason Calacanis about how social media optimization is BS:
PSS – This whole gaming of digg/Netscape/MySpace is being called SMO–social media optimization. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard of. Anyone who hires an SMO firm is an idiot. The whole point of social media is TO BE REAL NOT FAKE!!! Just be yourself and participate… that’s all it takes (and note, participation is not just putting in your own links, it’s voting/commenting on/submitting other people’s content too!). [highlight added by me]
Check this out:
Here is a screenshot of some of Sh2010′s 19 submissions:
It looks like 16 of the 19 Digg submissions are Mahalo pages, and one more of the 19 Digg submissions is about how to review Mahalo pages.
Jason Calacanis wrote about how “participation is not just putting in your own links, it’s voting/commenting on/submitting other people’s content too!“. So take a look at Sh2010′s activity:
16 out of the 19 Digg submissions are for Mahalo.com and there is only one other comment. No friends were invited. It’s not much trouble to Digg 84 stories in the process of submitting 19 stories.
Here is a Digg user that loves Mahalo:
Here is another Digg user that loves Mahalo so much that he logged in several times between July and September to submit only Mahalo.com content:
Here is another example from someone who has a Digg submission that says, “this is a really great how to page from the team here at Mahalo“. Does that mean that she works for Mahalo.com? She also submitted this post: Britney Spears’ Gimme More Video which links to a Mahalo.com stub (unfinished content) on Mahalo.com:
I don’t have a problem with people submitting Mahalo content to Digg. The only reason to point out this unusual pattern of Digg submissions is that Jason Calacanis said that social media optimization is “the worst thing I’ve ever heard of“.
NOTE: I don’t mean to pick on any specific Digg users who submit Mahalo content almost exclusively; I am just randomly picking examples. You can find more examples of Digg users who seem to love Mahalo with this Google search.
Mahalo.com might not be behind the submissions that I mentioned above, but the submission pattern doesn’t look natural when most of your submissions are for Mahalo.com and Jason Calcanis and Mark Jeffrey are on your friends list.
It’s easy to say that “anyone who hires an SMO firm is an idiot“ when you have the knowledge and experience to do it inhouse.