Intertubes > Twitter + DiggBar = Digg Explosion!

Twitter + DiggBar = Digg Explosion!

Published: April 2, 2009

Agility in the web world is so important. If you are agile enough you can take advantage of the movements of the industry and find yourself in the right place at just the right time.

Say hello to DiggBar. Having just been released by, this toolbar looks a bit annoying and somewhat superfluous but there are some subtleties that may make this one of the greatest capitalisations of 2009. This toolbar appears through Digg's domain name and a nice short URL - eg This means it slides right up nicely with Twitter and microblogging in general. Twitter pretty much forces you to use short URLs due to the character limitation. Most of the short URL services (,, etc) are fairly non-descript. So with Digg entering this space with a seemingly annoying toolbar, they are offering a whole lot more and will gain a heap in return.

Because DiggBar has just been released the verdict is not yet in. A quickly check of Twitter shows opinions seemed to be mixed - - love vs hate). The thing is, this new short URL scheme offers bloggers and publishers more of a chance for people to "digg" their work and hence receive more readership. So right there is a nice little bit of incentive. Furthermore, Digg has a face. Digg is a brand. has got nothing. has slightly more cred but really has no substance. To put it bluntly; Digg is cool and the other are not. Hands up who wants to be cool?

So what do Digg get for their trouble? A bazillion links back to that give off a little bit of their brand each time. This gives them an unprecedented amount of exposure on the web. This could be massive or it could totally backfire. If it annoys people too much then there will be a backlash against the brand. Chances are the brand will be strong enough to weather the storm and Digg will reach amazing new heights.

Not many web companies could have pulled off a move like this. It has a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time. In this game being in the right place at the right time still may not be enough for success. Your code still needs to be agile enough to support it!

Web companies try so hard to predict what is coming next. Perhaps the best bet is just to stick to your guns and keep it simply. Occasionally you can keep an eye out for what's zipping by and then, and only then, you may have a chance to jump on the bandwagon. If you are currently chasing the latest thing - in all likelihood, you've probably already missed it.

Update - If this site can be any guide -, Digg may find themselves in a bit of hot water. You may think that Google Images is doing the same thing and they are getting away with it. The difference with Google Images is that it can be opted out of using a robots.txt. Digg on the other hand appears to offer no such option. Oh, and BTW, IANAL.

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