They do a podcast together.
They are two of the top 3 members of the most powerful social news website in the world.
They’ve shut down their share of servers for a day.
This month, they are going head to head.
Chances are good that sometime during the month of November, 2007, both zaibatsu and msaleem, two of the most prolific contibutors to Digg, will surpass the 1,000 mark for stories they submitted that reached the Digg homepage. Yesterday, I sent a shout to each about the magic number. Here were the responses:
Me to msaleem: “Submitting a ton lately, I’ve noticed. We should have a betting pool (fake money, of course) on what day you’ll hit 1000 “Made Popular” submissions. My guess is November 19.”
“Haha, that’s very kind of you. Who all is in the pool, and can I join? (That guy, Zaibatsu certainly won’t make it easy for me).
Just kidding Z, Peace in the chicken grease.”
Me to zaibatsu: “Hey Z, I predicted Muhammed would hit 1000 “Made Popular” by November 19. When are you going to hit the magic number?”
“I’m actually fighting to regain my former glory. It’s on baby and November 19th days is way to long, I can FP 10 in a day my friend. Help me kick some ass on digg, spread the word it’s NEO vs. Morpheus on Digg. Who ever get to 1000 1st gets to pick who the f*ck they are. I don’t want to be Morpheus.
I’m sitting at 922 now, give me until Nov 10, wekends suck for me and I need to a day or so to recover from a FP streak!”
SOUNDS LIKE IT’S ON!
Here is my take on the two. No offense intended to either. I have the utmost respect for both apparent styles. In real life, both may be completely different, but on Digg and The Drill Down, here is how they come across to me:
Zaibatsu is the Digger for the common man. Excited, passionate, ever-active, he wants everyone to Digg his submissions because they’re good and because he’s Digging your stuff too. Rolled up sleaves, shovel in hand, ready to get to work. A Donald Trump style power digger.
Msaleem is a Digger for the elite. Proud, selective, enduring, he only wants to Digg what he likes and expects people to judge his submissions on merit. If it’s crap, it’s crap, and neither shout nor reciprocated Digg will earn his vote it’s crap. A Crown Prince style power digger.
The stats and analysis:
zaibatsu – 12/2004
msaleem – 09/2005
No advantage here for either. Both have been on the scene and well known across Digg channels long enough.
zaibatsu – 178
msaleem – 98
The more quality friends (those who are active and Digg your stories) you have, the more Diggs you can potentially get. The way the Digg algorithm seems to work, the more friends you have, the more Diggs you need to make it to the homepage. Both have found what they consider the “sweet spot” as far as number of friends. Whichever one is right may end up being the winner.
zaibatsu – 82,517
msaleem – 42,975
Again, this comes down to personal preference. Zaibatsu is more prolific in his Digging, honestly telling people that he’ll Digg a lot of their stories, as many as he can, as long as they are Digging his as well. Msaleem is more selective, trying to take the higher ground by only Digging what he considers “quality”. As with everything else so far, it seems that the advantage will come to whoever’s strategy is more correct, and only the programmers for Digg know for sure.
zaibatsu – 1,493
msaleem – 1,613
Some say it has an effect. I tend to believe that it just gets more people to your profile page with an opportunity that they’ll like your stories. I’ve been wrong before, but I think it’s pretty much a non-factor.
zaibatsu – 2,150 — Last 8 days: 5, 9, 7, 3, 4, 9, 2, 2 — 41
msaleem – 2,997 — Last 8 days: 10, 11, 8, 0, 1, 4, 9, 12 — 55
Msaleem has an advantage here. More submissions means more opportunities. The one good thing for zaibatsu here is that he can ramp his submissions up. It will bring his percentage down, but a month’s worth won’t damage his high popular ratio too badly.
zaibatsu – 925
msaleem – 945
A big lead going in for msaleem. Twenty is an awfully wide gap to overcome.
zaibatsu – 43%
msaleem – 32%
Zaibatsu has always been one of 3 or 4 top Diggers to maintain a 40% or higher Popular ratio. In this race to 1000, ratio may get thrown out the window. It’s all about bulk. Will he be able to step up?
I’ve tried to look at this as a race. Then, the image of a hot dog eating contest came to mind. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it’s like Iron Chef. A time limit, a goal, two different styles, two different strategies. I see MrBabyMan sitting at the thrown overlooking kitchen stadium nodding his head at their efforts.