Social Media Moms

Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

27 Comments 07 April 2008

There has been quite a buzz in the blogosphere, as of late, regarding whether or not it is socially acceptable to submit your own content to social sites. Here are a few examples:

Should You Submit Your Own Content To Social Networking Sites? - The Dallas Business and Marketing Blog

Is Shameless Self Promotion Using Social Networks Acceptable? - Marketing Ninja

Let’s Be Honest About Twitter - Web Pro News

The idea of self promotion is not new, however the jury is out when it comes to whether or not it is acceptable in the world of social media.

Debbie Weil says you have to submit your own stuff because a Technorati ping and an RSS update is just not enough anymore to get the attention your blog needs. You have to notify the Twittersphere. Unfortunately, some Twitterers don’t agree with letting your Twitter followers know you have a new blog post and feel it can polute the Twittersphere……

twitter doug march i just posted a blog about 1207514648408 Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

Then, there’s the “thumbs up” on StumbleUpon. Known for bringing huge amounts of traffic, Stumble Upon is a place to discover. But is discovery the same as when someone asks you to Stumble something? Aaron on the web says submitting your own content for others to Stumble can be a form of what he calls, “stumblespam”…..

“Isn’t the entire point of StumbleUpon to share interesting content with your friends, not to promote your own content using strangers?”

Everyone has their own opinion of self submission etiquette and Nick O’neill, from the Social Times blog, explains self submission in a way that clearly explains why people submit their own stuff:

“the social web is for building brand you. The techniques used to build brand you could be to simply write a blog post once a day or alternatively to write each post and tell as many people about it as possible in the hope that they’ll tell their friends.”

I agree 100% with what Jack Spirko, from the Dallas Business and Marketing Blog says, “To me social networking has a greater future if we judge the content rather then intent“. Is it really that important who submits it? If you like it, you can Mixx it, Digg it, Stumble it, Sphinn it, or whatever. If you don’t, then by all means don’t vote for it and move on!

What do you think about self submission? Should we or should we not submit our content to others, social sites etc.? I would love to know whether or not you think it is a good or bad thing to do and if so, why?

pixel Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

Your Comments

27 Comments so far

  1. Shannon says:

    I, too, agree with “judging the content.” Like anything (everything) else, these tools can be used by spammers. It’s up to us, the consumers of information, to determine what we’re going to pass on, vote up, and push to the top. I see nothing wrong with people submitting their own content.

  2. shawn smith says:

    I think this really depends in the Twittosphere. Some people like getting links to blog updates here. I have more than 100+ feeds I follow in my Google reader, and sometimes I miss things, but some of the bloggers I really like also syndicate their posts in their Twitter, which helps me follow them better because I’m more often plugged into my Twhirl than my reader. As far as submission to other social networking/bookmarking sites, I don’t look at it as spamming or selfless promotion - but as sharing. If the intent of the sharer really is to share a story with a network that might be otherwise unexposed to content you think is worth sharing, then why not submit it? That said, I don’t stumble my own posts (at least not until someone else has stumbled it first :) Different social networks/bookmarking services have different etiquettes.

  3. Jim Durbin says:

    I say submit away - if what you write is good, and your taglines on Twitter, SU are interesting, people will read.

    At the same time, if you’re a collossal bore, and you submit everything you write for the attention, people will unfollow, turnoff RSS and not click on your links - that’s the way this is supposed to work.

  4. Good question. I think it is fine to announce new blog posts on Twitter as long as it is part of the conversation and not the only thing you do there.

    Also, I prefer if someone only asks for a Digg or Stumble every once in awhile. I have stopped doing it upon request for the folks who ask for it on every post.

  5. Doug says:

    I really think that self promotion is the death of the web. We are all guilty of it, but for some reason we just don’t realize that it gets us no where. While working on some projects in the past I took two very opposite tracks in promotion. One I left alone and only told my friends, the other I contacted many influential bloggers, sites and other “people in the know”. Guess which one (by the numbers) was more successful. Yep, the former. One of my friends posted about the site, and then it went from there. 3 hours later it was on the front page of delicious and digg.

    Per my comment on Nick’s blog, if you are interested in right now, then I say go all out, whore away. However, if you really wanted to be a respected person, or have a respected product on the web, it takes time. You can’t force it we all can tell.

    I will point you to this recent post that puts it in words better than I ever could.

    Maryland Media the social media expert plauge

  6. Kelby says:

    The nice thing about many sites is that your peers vote, which is a great way for the cream to rise to the top. Also, I think there would be dramatically less news of people only submitted others’ content. If the content sucks, it won’t get voted. Or if it’s on a place like Twitter you will lose followers.

    This is the main thing, and THIS is the key. You can’t ONLY submit. You must engage. That is when it becomes part of the conversation. It really isn’t much different than commenting on a blog. If you just comment to get a link to your site, that’s spam. If you are part of the conversation or contributing to the conversation, then that link is of value to readers.

  7. Joe says:

    I’m always torn about that. I know people who ask for thumbs ups (SU) and Digg submissions for everything they write, and it doesn’t necessarily bother me. If I think it’s worth it then I will, and the opposite applies. The only time I use Twitter to drive traffic to my own blog is when I’ve neglected it for a while. Other than that, I let the numbers do the speaking for me.

  8. socialmediamom says:

    Shawn, Shannon, & Jim,
    I agree with you all. I am always hoping people will Tweet about their stuff so I don’t have to go to my reader to find what’s new.

  9. socialmediamom says:

    Kelby~
    So true, you can’t just submit, you have to engage. Why join the conversation if you’re not going to converse. It is comment spam in the biggest way and I thing this bridges the gap with what Doug is saying. You can whore away and lose respect but if you engage honestly then there should be no harm in promoting some of your own stuff.

  10. Ivy says:

    I’ve alway worried about shameless self promotion, so I try to self promote only what I feel is some of my better stuff. The only problem with that is, I tend to get the most attention and comments from crap that I dash off quickly. So I worry that I may not be the best judge of my own work.

  11. Kelby says:

    Shannon, you are so right. That is where the fine line is. If I am having a conversation with a group at a party and I slip in mention that I happen to have a business service that’s relevant, that’s not annoying. If I interrupt a group of people chatting to hand out business cards, I’m an ass. Same thing applies.

    I also think it’s very interesting what you say about you WANTING people to submit their stuff. You are so right. I am far more likely to click a link with someone on Twitter I feel engaged with than something in the masses on Digg. So I actually appreciate when my Twitter friends share their stuff. I know it’s coming from a good source because I “talk” to them daily.

  12. Doug says:

    I do believe that sharing stuff (starting a conversation) is very different than having an auto blog post submission set up to twitter. My original complaint highlighted in the post, has to do with the auto submission.

    There was a book written 10 years ago that I am sure some of you have read, The Cluetrain Manifesto. I highly suggest it. It is amazing how the 4 authors were able to predict the future of the web.

  13. I’m on the side of self-promotion — largely because I’ve caught up with other cool sites, cool bloggers and whatnot because other people have promoted their stuff via Twitter, etc. I figure that if people really are that fed up with any of my stuff, they can always ignore/unfollow/unsubscribe/etc.

  14. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi - interesting post. Personally, I’ve only ever sent one of my blog posts to other Stumblers - it was about a company who’d totally ripped me off and I wanted to warn others about them. But I didn’t send it to everyone - about a dozen people.

    Some people do send me stuff and ask me to Stumble it and I will if it’s good. But, it gets a bit annoying when they send me stuff every day - nobody can write excellent content on a daily basis.

    I think there’s a happy balance. If we all start voting complete garbage just because someone asked us to do it, StumbleUpon will become boring and worthless.

  15. James Duthie says:

    It really depends on your content, audience and social media outlets. For instance, marketers are generally accepting of self submission. Sphinn actually promotes self submission within their terms of use. But other audiences and social networks aren’t as forgiving. I think you’ve just got to understand your audience and your relevant social media.

  16. Gerard says:

    I think it’s really melodramatic to declare self-submissions to be ‘the death of the web’.

    I spent the best part of a night writing and researching a funny story the other night, and I know from feedback I’ve received from StumbleUpon that it’s popular and has made people laugh out loud.

    What’s wrong with wanting people to read your writing? What’s wrong with finding a way to build an audience?

    Nothing. Spam is unsolicited correspondence generally of a commercial nature. If a blog comment is insightful and interesting, but links to the author’s website it isn’t spam. There’s a small payoff to the commenter if people click on his link, but he’s not a spammer.

    Likewise, if I submit my well-researched and interesting article to a social media site, I’ll live or die by the quality of the content. People will vote it up if they *like* it. The social media site gains because the community will comment on the post, and it’ll provide a talking point for a while. I’ll gain visitors and hopefully subscribers from the traffic.

    I’m not hoping for financial gain, because we all know that social media users a almost completely ad-blind. So, tell me how that constitutes spam? Please…

  17. socialmediamom says:

    Gerry~ Thank you so much for stopping by. I love your description of spam and I think you nailed it when you said, “if I submit my well-researched and interesting article to a social media site, I’ll live or die by the quality of the content.” This reiterates what I said in that it should not be about “intent” but “content”.
    Well said!

  18. Whitney Hill says:

    I’m happy to have stumbled upon :) your blog today - I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know the debate existed (I guess that shows how new I am at all of this). I have submitted my own stuff, and have felt a little silly doing it - but it is hard to get started without people knowing about your site and how will they know if you don’t self-publish? Kind of a viscious circle. I think I am going to reconsider and just let it happen. Thanks!

  19. socialmediamom says:

    Whitney~ Thanks for stopping by. I definitely hear what you’re saying. You’ve got start somewhere and your own stuff is usually that place. Just make sure that you are stumbling and submitting others stuff as well and you will be good to go! :)

  20. Bill Austin says:

    It has to meet the fourth C of The five C’s of Internet Marketing or it will not get passed on and is probably not worth your time to self submit or ask someone else to submit it for you.

    Five Cs : of Internet Marketing: http://www.azhttp.com/2007/04/25/internet-marketing/

    Continuous
    Creation (of)
    Clear
    Compelling
    Content

  21. Simon says:

    Hey socialmediamom,

    This is a good question and I think that submitting your own stuff is legitimate. Now the question is wether people will like your own stuff and I think the system is regulating itself after a while.
    Anyone who submits good content, being his own or other content will be heard. On the contrary anyone who submits junk will be buried soon enough.
    It’s all about the content I think. Good content gets its share, the rest doesn’t. Social media is a way to find audience, and sometimes it can be difficult to be found, so people definitely may do something about it.

  22. amy says:

    I don’t vote for or read self submissions on digg, stumble and reddit, because to me if you had to submit it - it must not be that good. Ask a friend to do it - but don’t submit it yourself.

  23. Gerard says:

    Amy - surely if you get a friend to do it for you, it’s the same as submitting it yourself - the person is doing you a favour whether or not they like the content.

  24. linda says:

    I think it looks awful to submit your own stuff to digg and reddit. I mean isn’t it sending a message that your stuff is not good enough for anyone else to submit? If you really are engaging in social media shouldn’t you instead just be social and ask a friend to submit your stuff for you on occasion?

  25. phoenix says:

    I thought the whole point of social media was that good content will surface to the top and be featured on the front page because people like the content and vote for it. Bad content will be buried, killed, or whatever that particular site calls it. No mattter who submits it, the good and interesting content should shine.


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