Catching Village Voice Media with its hands in the Digg cookie jar

Now I am pretty sure that we all know who is; and if not that is one hellva rock you’ve been hiding under, but Village Voice Media is probably not quite as well known. Well it so happens to be a media company who among other metropolitan newsweeklies owns the venerable Village Voice newspaper. It appears as well to be; or at least some of its employees seem to be behind a very active campaign to game

This is according to Ed Kohler of The Deets blog, who has done some pretty interesting investigation recently about the connection between, Village Voice Media and one City Pages; which is owned by Village Voice Media, web editor named Jen Boyles. the connection Ed makes that since the day that Jen joined Digg and began heavily promoting CityPages stories another very regular Digg user by the name of IvanB also began promoting CityPages stories. Interestingly enough is the fact that the friends of Jen Boyles happen to live in cities where Village Voice Media also has news properties.

As Ed points out using this graph it seems that IvanB; the influential digger, as a real affinity for CityPages stories

and apparently IvanB isn’t the only influential Digger to be doing the same thing. Ed suggests as well that one of the other heavy diggers of CityPages stories is nothing like their Digg profile portrays them to be. In fact instead of being a woman they are a man who works for Village Voice Media

Just for fun, I’m going state the obvious: The Digg user Philostrato is NOT a she, but a he (pictured on the right here and left here). Philostrato is a he by the name of Keith Plocek, whose work titles are:

* Social Media Manager at Village Voice Media
* Web Editor at Houston Press

Exactly the kind of roles a person would have who obsesses over Village Voice Media’s web traffic.

While there is no absolute proof that what Ed Kohler is suggesting in his post it sure does make for some interesting reading and I am sure will reaffirm a general consensus that Digg is and always will be gamed for the benefit of advertising dollars.

[hat tip to Susan Mernit]

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