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Social Networks The Internet

Digg Backs Down On DiggBar 180

Barence writes "Social news website Digg.com has made key changes to its recently introduced DiggBar. The browser add-on had been much criticised for its use of frames to 'host' third-party websites within the digg.com domain using an obfuscating short URL, thereby boosting its own traffic figures to the detriment of those third parties. After many major sites ran negative articles on the DiggBar, and even changed their code to block it, Digg has relented and announced two changes to ease concerns."
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Digg Backs Down On DiggBar

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  • by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:10AM (#27597155)
    Remember: music starting automatically when you open a website, animated pictures, and of course, frames. What's the next, the unreadable background pattern [geekculture.com]
    • by Reapman ( 740286 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:26AM (#27598249)

      Don't forget the Blink tag. Everyone LOVES Blinkie! Or the little Construction Icons... mmmmmmm

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cerberusss ( 660701 )

        Don't forget the Blink tag. Everyone LOVES Blinkie!

        Not everyone. Not me, anyway. The way I see it, there's a big problem with the blink tag -- it doesn't support an 'interval' attribute.

        • by Reapman ( 740286 )

          Now THAT could be fun. Set them to blink exceedingly fast, but at slightly different intervals to "maximize consumer focus".

      • The blink tag is so 1996. It's all about the marquee tag now.
    • by MadJo ( 674225 )

      well everyone has a comeback these days, so why shouldn't web0.5 return as web3.0?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cripkd ( 709136 )
      Slightly offtopic: why the hell does youtube autoplays the movies when you open up a page?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wastedlife ( 1319259 )

        I hate this as well, and use a greasemonkey script [userscripts.org] to stop that behavior. Turning this off by default would drastically reduce rick-rolling and might even improve their bandwidth. Or, if they don't mind using the same bandwidth, they could start buffering the video upon page load. This would improve user experience for those with low bandwidth so that they don't have as much stuttering.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bendodge ( 998616 )

          I use Flashblock. It turns a Youtube area (or any Flash) into a play button. Perfect solution.

      • by antic ( 29198 )

        "Slightly offtopic: why the hell does youtube autoplays the movies when you open up a page?"

        Probably because 95% of their visitors would prefer that. Ever browsed a non-autoplay movie site with an average internet user? Sometimes a fair amount of time will pass before they realise that they have to click play to start.

        Note that a DVD player will generally autoplay a DVD on insertion. Most CD players work in the same way, game consoles by default, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

      What's the next, the unreadable background pattern

      I have been on 1920*1080 notebooks for a couple of years and I have more problems with the unreadable foreground.
      Every website seems to need several zoom clicks before being able to read something.

      And don't even get me started on unzoomable flash crap.

      • The irony is, of course, that one of the selling points of Flash is vector graphics, and one of the selling points of vector graphics is zoomability.

      • by Firehed ( 942385 )

        Have you considered increasing the DPI/PPI in your graphics settings? It's there specifically to counter the tiny font sizes you normally encounter using high-resolution (PPI, not pixel count) displays.

        I don't think it will help graphics at all, but it should affect most fonts.

      • by Allador ( 537449 )

        Flash movies zoom in and out just fine, at least on IE7, FF3, and Opera 9.

        I too run 1920x1080 on a small laptop screen and have most everything zoomed constantly.

    • by Haoie ( 1277294 )

      You just described 90% of all Myspace pages too. What an era.

  • Facebook (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashkitty ( 21637 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:12AM (#27597185) Homepage
    They do the same thing, I'm wondering why there isn't similar backlash. I hate them both, framing is such a 90's thing.
    • facebook, and stumbleupon, and pretty much every search engine's image search... I think the combination of the urlshortening and the frame was what caused the tempest in the teapot.
      • Re:Facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AmaDaden ( 794446 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:15AM (#27598117)
        The URL shortening is what was causing the issue. They offered to drop if for sites that ask. For example the new york times.

        Personally I like the digg bar. It's as unobtrusive as it can be, gives me a link back to the comments, and lets me digg a page when I'm reading it. I tend to browse diggs main page and open up a bunch of links all at once. Before the digg bar it was pain if I liked anything enough to digg it. Everyone should remember that it can be turned off on a user by user basis. Besides the fact that having it on is the default they are doing everything they can to not be jerks about it.
        • by hazem ( 472289 )

          I found it very obtrusive and annoying. Plus, clicking it off on every page meant loading the page twice.

          For whatever reason, I can only log into digg if I use IE. It never accepts my login while using firefox; and frankly it's not worth the bother to figure that out. (On some articles on slashdot, it happens too, but not often).

          As for linking back to comments, I personally find it easier to just open the articles and the comments with them in tabs and if I want to go back to the digg comments, I just cl

        • Define unobtrusive (Score:3, Informative)

          by LionMage ( 318500 )

          For me, the Digg bar was very obtrusive. I'm forced to use IE6 at work, and when the Digg bar shows up on that browser on my work system (Win XP SP2), it causes unacceptable graphical tearing and glitches in the page it's wrapping. If I scroll down, I had better not scroll back up because I wanted to see something at the top of the page.

          Furthermore, when I first noticed the Digg bar showing up on sites I visited via Digg, it was pretty easy to get rid of the bar -- one click to an obvious-looking close bu

          • I call it unobtrusive because I have not seen or heard about behavior anywhere close to what you describe. Personally I've been using Firefox, I can't speak for IE since I don't really use it. There is a setting to turn it off for your digg user name, did you try that?
        • by Allador ( 537449 )

          I find the DiggBar to be one of the most abominable things I've seen on the web since the 90's (and MySpace, of course).

          Who actually reads the comments or actually uses any of the features at Digg? I've never actually met anyone who does that, but I guess if you do, the DiggBar might be slightly useful.

          My biggest complaint is that they used a whole bunch of 'stuff is broken' to make the diggbar almost impossible to remove if you're using Opera.

          The little drop-down button to make it go away permanently didn

  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd.bandrowsky@gma i l .com> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:14AM (#27597223) Homepage Journal

    I'm really just getting sick of Browser Bars and add ins to "help your browser". I think it is very ironic that Google Chrome's excellent interface is just one souped up text box that you type stuff into, with a smattering of buttons for favorites. Browser bars are just stupid.... unless someone pays me to write one.

  • by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <`jason' `at' `jasonlefkowitz.com'> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:16AM (#27597249) Homepage

    ... why is nobody screaming at Facebook about this, since they do the exact same thing that Digg was doing?

    Seriously -- use the "Share" feature in Facebook to share a URL with your friends. Then click the link to read the shared story. The link will be framed with an obnoxious Facebook bar under a Facebook URL, just like stories shared via Digg were defaced, and with all the negative consequences that were associated with the DiggBar.

    And yet while bloggers and SEO experts were up in arms over the DiggBar, I have yet to see a single story calling Facebook to account for this.

    So if it's not OK for Digg to do this stuff, why is it ok for Facebook? Why the double standard?

    • by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:34AM (#27597515) Homepage Journal

      Why the double standard?

      I'll take a stab at this. There is a whole cottage industry built around gaming Digg. It was a sweetheart deal, the "news sites" provided top-10 lists, tin-foil-hat opinion articles and short summaries of real news articles on real news sites mixed with a heap of ads. In exchange, Digg would give these sites enough traffic to make a living. Digg just violated the rules of this little deal and tried to take more than its fair share. Of course these guys are pissed--they had a deal, blackheart!

      Nobody counts on Facebook traffic, so nobody gives a shit what Facebook does. But lots of these joints *do care* what Digg does cause if Digg shuts off their traffic, the party is over and the site folds.

      • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:53AM (#27597799)

        I wonder, would cracked.com even exist if it wasn't on digg's front page every other day or so with another top X list... Not saying they aren't entertaining.. but damn, they have alot of them.

      • by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:53AM (#27598643) Homepage

        it's the fact that the frame was served to spiders. facebook doesn't do that.

        • It is a amazing the sheer amount of politics that goes around pagerank and search engine listing. In an environment where your whole business can go tits up with a bad listing in Google, it is no wonder such politicking exists!

          If you couple that with the fact that nobody knows what the fuck, exactly, makes Google like your page and you get quite a strange brew. Books and websites all passing around spells and potions with no scientific basis. People constantly thinking Google is somehow out to get them

          • by Firehed ( 942385 )

            Self-proclaimed SEO experts are just people who market bullshit - or, rather, see no issue in selling bullshit. I could do the same thing, but I'd feel like a scumbag for charging $500/hr for tips like "set page titles that people will want to click on when they search for your topic"*, "use your keywords in header tags", and "don't have broken links".

            The best part of the nonsense is that nobody seems to doubt self-proclaimed SEO experts, and companies are happy to justify the exorbitant rate with the thin

      • Oh, so this toolbar is a good thing then? The more sites that digg lists that go away the better.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nobody wants to admit they use Facebook. But you did, sucker!
      • Being publicly identifiable as a user of Slashdot had already killed any hopes I might have had of being considered cool ;-)
    • by mmkkbb ( 816035 )

      Facebook does not offer their goofy bar as a public URL-shortening service. It's primarily for use inside the Facebook walled garden. The DiggBar option shows up in TweetDeck along with bit.ly, TinyURL, etc., and you don't need a Digg account to use it.

    • See two comments above yours. I see it as Facebook being a more general social site, where if you share a link, you're sharing it specifically with your friends, not like Digg whose sole purpose is to point people to websites. People aren't coming to my Facebook profile page to look for things, it's a few of my friends that might go see, whereas if something is Dugg, everyone on Digg might look and browse to that site with the bar intact.
    • by Selfbain ( 624722 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:39AM (#27597579)
      I'm a habitual user of StumbleUpon and I've never stumbled upon a page with a Facebook frame. After they launched that bar, I was getting tons of pages framed with it even after I'd used my Digg account to turn it off. I'm assuming this was just happening because people would link to it from Digg (or the Digg bar however that works) and then giving it a thumbs up with the frame in place. It was annoying me greatly.
    • by tedgyz ( 515156 ) *

      That's because no self-respecting /.er uses facebook.

      • by eln ( 21727 )

        That's because no self-respecting /.er uses facebook.

        Are you trying to imply that self-respecting /.ers use Digg?

    • Digg frames every link you follow, while FaceBook only frames those "Shared a link" posts. I've only seen the FaceBook Frame once or twice, and yes, it pissed me off, but I don't see it often enough to work up a real vitriolic rage.

    • What I want to know is why people still visit Facebook and Digg? Both are retarded wastes of electricity and bandwidth. Facebook is just a meeting spot for pedos to find their next victim.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      Unlike Facebook, you don't have to be logged in to the parent service to get the Digg bar, hence people getting pissed off about SEO. You have to be logged in to Facebook to get the Facebook shortened URL. Crawlers are not in the habit of signing up for Facebook. It's not a double standard, it's very different.
  • The People's Voice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iamhigh ( 1252742 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:18AM (#27597277)
    This, the Facebook TOS, and I am sure there are several other examples of how new technology, (ironically) such as Twitter and Facebook, have allowed people and companies to voice their concerns with a product and produce results. I am willing to bet that 10 years ago if some company wanted to screw you over (even if they sent a letter to all customers) there would not have been a way to get that info out to the world in a quick and efficient manner as to get said company to change it's policy.

    There were no marches, no organized rallies; just a bunch of people complaining in a way that is heard by millions, including those they are complaining about and other users/customers of that company. This is the power of information.
  • by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:25AM (#27597383) Homepage Journal

    Didn't about.com or somebody like them try this stunt back in the .com days? Remember having to add that "break out of some assholes frame" javascript on every page? I guess nobody does that anymore, but back then it used to be standard issue. Course, back in those days people used frames, so it was probably easy to break out. Looks like digg is using an iframe to host the content. This begs a couple questions:

    1) What does something like AdSense think about pages served in iframes? Will it throw off their targeting?
    2) What does this mean in terms of SEO? Will google get pissy about you being in some jerk's iframe?
    3) How the hell do you break out of an iframe in a cross-browser way?

    I gotta say one thing though--how they have the comments "fold down" from the "Diggbar" is pretty neat. Course, the posters on Digg are all 12 year olds who find poo-poo, pee-pee jokes funny thus negating everything.

    Digg is a weird place, it is like some kind of flash-crowd groupthink that is enabled by the unlimited ability to vote anything down. Slashdot's moderation system may have its faults, but it is the best damn system I've seen for a website with lots of traffic. Here, you can make a post that goes against the general "view" of the site and still get "+5 insightful" provided you are eloquent. On Digg, you could write the most insightful damn thing in the world but if it goes even a tiny bit against the bias of the article you will be buried into the floor with zero chance of getting read.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by yoshi_mon ( 172895 )

      Slashdot's moderation system may have its faults, but it is the best damn system I've seen for a website with lots of traffic.

      Indeed. I'm regularly surprised that /.'s moderation system has not been copied/implemented in more places. No system is going to be perfect but /.'s does work pretty damn well.

  • by gringofrijolero ( 1489395 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:29AM (#27597449) Journal

    This is the ongoing joke [diagnose-my-pc.com]

  • with their image search. Where is the outrage there, like Facebook others have mentioned?

    Don't get me wrong, I hated the diggbar, and havent been to digg since they implemented it.

  • Another reason (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:47AM (#27597705) Homepage

    Yet another reason not to use Digg

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:23AM (#27598217)
    I quite looking at Digg when they wouldn't let the Pifts.exe story reach the front page. Norton had a possible back door into their software for big brother and it phoned home to a server in Africa. Pretty important story if you ask me. All accounts that questioned the Pifts.exe file on Norton's site were deleted. A back door can be exploited by all not just the one who puts it in their software!!
  • I work behind a content filter, so the Digg bar was handy for reading sites that are filtered, so I didn't have to RDP onto a separate server to read blocked URLs. So this is kinda sad news for me, but c'est la vie, big picture and all that.
  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:51AM (#27598619)
    I am pretty sure the only reason people are not opt-out in larger numbers is, because digg has not made it easy to do or advertised that you can turn it off at all. They need to turn it off for everyone and let them opt-in and then see what their numbers look like before spewing them like they show diggbar in a positive light.
  • ...in TFA. The article says that for users who are not logged in (or who don't have any Digg account), the Digg bar should not appear at all:

    All anonymous users, those not logged into Digg.com, will now be taken directly to the publishers content via a permanent redirect - no toolbar, no frames.

    I just tried surfing to a Digg-linked site, and the toolbar still appeared. I can confirm that I am not logged in to Digg, and I've tried this with IE6 and Firefox 3.x.

    What I do see is a little disclosure widget ap

  • Why complain when these lines prevent anyone from framing your pages?

    <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript">
            if (top!=self.parent)

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling