Revenge of the DiggBar

Digg LogoYou probably remember the controversy over Digg’s “DiggBar.” Marketed as a URL shortener integrated with Digg, with some other sharing options as well, it had a rough start because of a few technical and behavioral problems that web publishers weren’t too happy about.

Well, the DiggBar is “evil” again.

A few days ago, Digg threw the switch on a change to how the DiggBar works. No longer do Digg short URLs (e.g. automatically redirect to their target. They now point you to the Digg page instead of the source.

A new entry surfaced on the Digg blog a couple days later, with this explanation:

As we’ve stated in the past, the DiggBar is meant to streamline the Digg experience and provide our registered users with the opportunity to catch up on comments, related stories and additional source content. Our strategy with Digg short URLs is to facilitate sharing of Digg content, not to be a conventional redirection service.

They pulled a bait-and-switch, moving from something that made sense, and could potentially bring more traffic and content to Digg, to something that users won’t find anywhere near as useful. People want to share content, not pages that link to content.