There’s an interesting site called Subvert and Profit where the owner claims to sell diggs and votes on stumbleupon for traffic generation. Selling at $1 per vote/digg the goal is to monetize that traffic through various marketing campaigns or traffic arbitraging. Pretty interesting business model, and at worst it’s against the ToS of the various companies - it’s probably not illegal in any way. Blackhat SEM at it’s finest. It’s really not much different than buying paid links on websites if you think about it.
Some of the testimonials on the Subvert and Profit blog are pretty telling, such as, “the mind-boggling barrage of traffic which comes next, is nothing less than euphoric”. I can definitely agree that the volume of traffic from digg and stumbleupon, as well as reddit dwarfs slashdotting in our experience. Traffic arbitrage is here to stay, as long as the margins stay there. Pretty interesting!