19 July 2009

I don't Digg it.


So, I just watched an interview with Kevin Rose, Digg co-founder, on live.twit.tv with Leo Laporte.

(Laporte gives Rose the background)
Laporte: Is that true?
Rose: That’s a good question.
Laporte: You don’t know?
Rose: I’ve been gone for 2 weeks so I don’t know what got pushed, what code got pushed and how it functions but my last understanding is that what we wanted to do is have it so that if you click on a Digg URL it takes you to the Digg stories so you can Digg it. Rather than providing a short URL service that just forwards and does redirection we would just do a URL service just for Digg articles. Just like the same way that Techcrunch does “techcrunch slash 85374″ – if you go to that you’re not going to go to some other site you’re going to go to techcrunch. That’s the story.
Laporte: So you’re backing off on the original idea which is a general URL shortening service…
Rose: Correct.

My question is this: If they intended on doing this to Diggbar, why was there no post on it, no indication on their intentions to change Diggbar from a general URL shortening service to one that is exclusively for Digg articles? I'm not debating the usefulness of an exclusive Digg shortener, in fact, it can be very useful if that's what you're aiming for. On the contrary, I'm questioning how Digg went about all of this. It makes them look shady.


As many of you on Twitter have seen, link shorteners are key in this 140 character world. A popular choice of shortener is through the Diggbar. A great concept: integrating a traffic counter along with the link shortener in the convenience of a single bar at the top of your browser! Sounds great, right? Sure, publishers jumped at the chance to increase traffic to their content, up Digg counts, and have a simple way to post the content in a Twitter update.

A few days ago, I noticed that the Diggbar links I clicked on in Tweets ended up at a Digg.com landing page. I had to click on a second link on the cluttered page to get to where I wanted to go in the first place. Did I want to land there? No! I wanted to land right on top of the content! This irked me.

Working As Intended?

Apparently it's confirmed that this is NOT an error. Anyone logged out of Digg, or those people not members of the site will be sent to the Digg landing page.

Hi from Digg,

Thank you for writing to us about this matter. This is working as intended. Please let us know if you have any feedback or have additional questions we can assist you with.

Digg Support

From Digg's point of view, I suppose they thought this would bring something good for them, but, seriously? Way to hijack. You're welcome for the traffic push and ad revenue, Digg.

What Now?

Thanks to my friend Matt Rogers at primatage.co.uk for this update:

Nick Halstead, CEO of TweetMeme, commented on the Mashable post that:

From TweetMeme’s point of view if this stays the same way we will be forced to remove it from our whitelist of shorteners, as by definition this no longer makes Digg a shortening service. We included Digg.com because we felt the addition allowed users the ability to gain extra traction along with the shortening support.

TweetMeme is a site that compiles all of the hottest links on Twitter and is used by some hard-hitting social networkers, blogs, and sites, including Mashable. Losing that support is crucial, and I don't need to mention the extreme amount of boycotting going on in the Twittersphere.

Well hey now, congrats Diggbar, you are now the illegitimate child of Digg. I can hear Jay Adelson's facepalm from here.

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