This Week in the Social Sphere

Digg Restricts Blind Digging: One of the most "dugg" stories on over the past seven days is a screenshot of a new restriction on the site. "Drive-by-digging" or "blind digging" refers to the practice of voting up a large amount of stories in a short period of time - essentially voting on a story without ever reading the content. Those abusing the system in this way are now limited as to how many stories can be dugg withing a certain time frame.

What it means to the Web Professional: It's no secret that voting sites are gamed, even to the tune of paid voting and submission. They will continue to be manipulated, even as the sites try to install control measures. However, the fact remains that these sites are powerful drivers of website traffic and need to be part of your strategy. It also points to the importance of powerful headlines and teaser copy.

ChromeChrome Makes Some Noise: Chrome, Google's new browser, launched to much fanfare and skepticism recently. This week saw an amazing amount of material out there dissecting the new browser. So far, it seems to be making a good impression, but not exactly enough to lure users away from traditional browser powerhouses like Internet Explorer and Firefox. Here are a few interesting resources to learn about Chrome and get get more out of the experience.

iTunes App Store Rebellion: In August, iPhone app developers learned that their creations were being rejected by Apple without explanation. It has also become known that Apple can kill apps on users' phones remotely. Then, last week it started to sound as if Apple was rejecting apps if they threatened to compete with Apple's own products. That, in turn, led to widespread dissent in the app developer camps, prompting some to abandon the store altogether, and one savvy developer to use "Ad Hoc" to distribute a popular app. Where will other disgruntled developers turn for distribution? I'm glad you asked.

AndroidAndroid Set to Officially Release: Google's Android mobile platform will see its first action when it is announced next week in New York. T-Mobile will have first crack at Android with the "G1" phone, manufactured by HTC. The phone itself won't be sold until October, but some key details - including pricing, and probably something about applications and development - will likely be revealed next week. Google has been agressive in recruting applications and devleopers, recently announcing winners of a development contest that paid out $10 million in total prize money. Apple will suddenly have competition and developers will have another avenue to sell their wares.

What it means to the Web Professional: Get in the game. Whether as a stand-alone paid application or a free app that connects consumers with your brand, app development is a booming industry. More than 3,500 apps are available through iTunes and in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Steve Jobs claims that developers took home $21 million in the first month after the release of the iTunes App Store.

39 Creative Advertisements: High on Digg this week is "39 Masterpieces of Creative Advertisements." Most of them are from big brands with big budgets. But aside from their creativity and visual appeal, there is an important takeaway here. It has to do with how the greater Web community has shifted the advertising landscape from a "push" to a "pull" environment. This page rose quickly on Digg - and it's all advertising. Create great ads and compelling copy and users will find you and spread your message without being "pushed" into doing so.