Back on Feb 5th, I posted a story about how Village Voice Media’s various online properties work together to cross-promote each other’s stories on Digg. That happened to be the same day that CityPages’ Emily Kaiser stopped using Digg.
At least that was the short-term case. Two months later, she Dugg two things, took another month off, and is now back in the gaming game.
Village Voice Media lost their national ringleader for this type of activity, Keith Plocek back in April. You may remember him as the dude that pretended to be a girl on Digg to increase page views on VVM properties.
But after some regrouping, it looks like VVM is back to its old tricks on Digg, seeking out as much drive-by traffic as they can get to their reblogged stories from other news sites.
What confuses me about this strategy is the following snippet from Kelsey Group where Village Voice Media’s COO, Scott Tobias attempts to explain the value VVM properties provide:
“National Web efforts have been decimated by the digital networks,” he says. That makes it hard to leverage the strong demographic appeal that targeted media sites still do better than anyone else.
It’s hard to tell for sure whether it’s Mr. Tobias or Kelsey’s author, Peter Krasilovsky, who’s describing the “strong demographic appeal” that VVM’s properties provide. VVM’s digital strategy seems to be based on passing through as much cheap traffic as possible from Digg rather than building large, loyal, local audiences. Perhaps that’s what advertisers are looking for, but it seems to be out of line with how VVM positions itself in other channels such as print, where they really do have large, local, local audiences.