Does the local dry cleaner really need links on his site so others might "Digg" it...?


There's a discussion I've been lurking on elsewhere about the role of Social Media as used for corporate Public Relations.
I shared my two cents: Social media, tagging, digging, furling etc. is a very cool Web 2.0-ish phenomena, and the instantaneous one-click-to-share approach is awesomely powerful. The Web equivalent of the "impulse buy."
But what can happen is in our zeal to make it easy for people to share content (or in this case, press releases) we encourage social media spam in the form of "illogical submissions" to venues that aren't really appropriate. Thus embedding quick submission links to certain venues can create a stream of inappropriate submissions.
Look at these search results:
"submit to slashdot" -site:slashdot.org
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&q=%22submit+to+slashdot%22+-site 3Aslashdot.org
Results: 54,100
Now that is a lot of potential junk just a click away from Slashdot's submission form, and if you look at http://slashdot.org/submit.pl , you can see from the pull-down menu they have a specific set of topics they want submissions to conform to.
Slashdot isn't the perfect example. But the above search results illustrate what I would term as potentially spammy if not irresponsible use of social media quick links. I use the brilliant Socializer tool on my URLwire service, and it's an awesome tool, but I'm having to take a closer look to make sure I don't encourage the very thing I'm describing above.
Have a click right here to see how easy it is to seed your content at the various social media venues...
I'm 100% for making it easy to let the reader share a page or a link quickly and easily. It's crazy not to offer this feature on your content, but does the local dry cleaner really need links on his site so others might "Digg" it?
Eric Ward
http://www.ericward.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Eric Ward

Eric founded the Web's very first online publicity and linking services, NetPOST and URLwire, in 1994. Eric's expertise is in helping companies generate links, publicity and buzz for their Web content. A hands-on practitioner, Eric also offers training and seminars that teach companies how to do it in-house. His client list is a who's who of online brands, from Amazon.com to PBS.org.

Eric has written for for ClickZ and Ad Age, and he won the 1995 Tenagra Award For Internet Marketing Excellence. In 1997, he was named one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight magazine. A well-known speaker at the major industry trade shows, Eric will soon publish The Ward Report, a monthly "how-to" newsletter on the art of link building and publicity for Web content, with commentary on the newest trends and practices.

A native of northern New Jersey, Eric has lived in Knoxville, Tennessee since graduating from the University of TN. Eric's wife Melissa and toddler Noah say "bye daddy geek" every day when he leaves for work.

Eric can be reached at eric@ericward.com