Dear Mr. Gruber,

I have read your recent article entitled How to Block the DiggBar in which you argue that the the DiggBar is fundamentally evil. You then go on to show how you go out of your way to block traffic coming from a shortened Digg URL.

I’m all for calling out jackassery on the internet and am an avid reader of your RSS feed, in which you usually do a pretty good job of that. In fact, Daring Fireball is, according to NetNewsWire the feed I give most attention to. However, this specific article perturbs me in a number of ways.

Firstly, regarding the topic of the DiggBar itself, I disagree with you in that the DiggBar is the possibly very best possible implementation of that specific feature. I’ll be the first to agree with you that framing the content is not an ideal solution, but I fail to see a better one.

The DiggBar may have its fair share of flaws. It may or may not attribute to Digg some of the search engine ‘juice’ that is rightfully the publisher’s. However, it is important to note that Digg has denied this claim, and I, for one, believe them until proven wrong. It is also important to note that if it weren’t for Digg, the publisher wouldn’t receive the search engine ‘juice’ — or the traffic for that matter — in the first place.

I personally think they have done a pretty good job using the available technologies. The fact is that the DiggBar is primarily a tool for Digg users, and that for that purpose it is a very useful and both well-designed and well-engineered tool.

The second thing that troubles me about your article is how you go out of your way block Digg traffic, and by sharing the know-how encourage others to do so too.

This will certainly not be of any benefit to the publishers. In fact, it will most likely destroy any chance of them becoming popular on Digg. While I agree with you that average Digg users are of incontestably lower average quality than your average reader, it is widely agreed that just like any publicity is good publicity, any traffic is good traffic.

One definitely does not lose anything by letting Digg users use the DiggBar on one’s site. Blocking the DiggBar will only have two effects: to turn free traffic to one’s site into no traffic at all; and to ruin the experience of Digg user’s who’d like to use one of the site’s most attractive features in conjunction with one’s site.

Lastly, I also have a gripe with the tone of your article. I find it to be misleading in that it gives your opinion — a negative portrayal of Digg — and passes it off as fact. Your description of the DiggBar, for example, does not actually fully describe the DiggBar, but rather enumerates several negative facts concerning it. This immediately gives the reader a fully negative view of the DiggBar that it perhaps doesn’t deserve.

Yours sincerely,
Kenneth Ballenegger

This entry was posted on Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 9:17 pm and is filed under English, Internet, Rants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Add your thoughts!
April 10th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

It’s his blog (or something resembling a blog, I guess :P ). Everything said is assumed to be his opinion.

If Gruber rather not get digg traffic, that’s his choice, and there’s nothing wrong with his helping others do the same. It’s their choice to decide if the added traffic is worth it, considering its quality.

Your post strikes me as… “I want traffic, any traffic!” I don’t quite understand that mentality.

With some dom/javascript wizardry, I’m sure Digg could have come up with a better solution. Using frames strikes me as lazy.

John Lilly proclaims
April 11th, 2009 at 7:28 am

I’m pretty sure you’re on the wrong end of this one.

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