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Salon pays cash tips to bloggers

Or rather, helps you pay cash tips. Salon is giving $10 of real money to each person who registers for the Open Salon user-generated content group, with the catch that you can only spend it by tipping other writers.

The idea is this will (a) build Salon traffic and (b) create a better Digg-like voting system on top content. It’s also interesting how Salon has taken a nominal one-time fee of $10 to attract writers and spun it into a cool, new benefit. Hey — we’ll hire you out-of-work journalists for $11! Really!

Photo: Daquella Manera

The great Digg experiment on blog rankings

OK, so we tried it. For a few days last week, we wrote witty and intelligent posts about media planning on our blog, then threw the stories on The chart above shows you our blog’s web traffic — which quadrupled on a few days, especially if the story we posted had any reference to Apple. This points out two things: (a) you can increase blog readership by jumping aboard the exponential conduit of Digg, and (b) does traffic count anyway if you have to go fishing for it?

Fastest solution for your Google rankings: Digg

Here’s a morbid way to boost your SEO rankings on Google: Tie your brand in to decapitation. Forbes reports that’s just what did when it hired Cameron Olthuis to launch a viral campaign to boost the life insurance company’s search engine optimization. Olthuis took a back door to Google rankings by tapping the community at He posted a page at Digg called “19 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Death,” listing cool gut-wrenching items such as the fact human heads remain conscious for 15 seconds after decapitation. Diggers dug it, and since headlines that reach Digg’s home page receive an average of 129 links, soon LifeInsure ranked fourth in Google search results for “life insurance.”

Interesting approach to viral marketing — find the exponential conduit that already exists, in this case, and jump aboard. Although we can’t say we Digg the heady message.