Annalee Newitz paid a service to get her crappy experimental blog top-rated on Digg after the CEO of Digg said it couldn't be done.
I can tell you exactly how a pointless blog full of poorly written, incoherent commentary made it to the front page on Digg. I paid people to do it. What's more, my bought votes lured honest Diggers to vote for it too. All told, I wound up with a "popular" story that earned 124 diggs -- more than half of them unpaid. I also had 29 (unpaid) comments, 12 of which were positive.
How did I entice the Digg crowd into promoting something ridiculous? I used the scientific prank methodology, which is to say I conducted a controlled experiment and was something of a smartass about it.