Why Now May Be a Perfect Time to Start Using Digg

Yesterday Digg announced the release of their new toolbar, DiggBar. Here’s a quick video from Digg with an overview of the tool:

What is the DiggBar?
In Muhammad Saleem’s DiggBar post on Mashable yesterday he writes,

“The Diggbar is essentially an iframed toolbar that allows you to interact with content on Digg without actually having to visiting the site.”

The DiggBar allows you to Digg directly on the destination site; eliminating the need for switching between the destination page and submission on Digg.com.

Why This Matters
People interested in using Digg no longer have to go to Digg.com to view news items or vote and comment on stories. This functionality is built right into the DiggBar application that can be accessed from almost any web page via iframe at the top of the browser window.

There is no software, plugin or extension to download and install.

Simply add, “digg.com/” to the beginning of any web address in the browser to access DiggBar and explore Digg functionality.

Example of Converting Web Address for DiggBar

DiggBar also creates a shortened URL for users to send (through IM, Twitter, Facebook, Email etc) that will include the web page of interest with the DiggBar present at the top of the browser window.

In short, Digg users can now do the following, without ever going to Digg.com:

  • Vote on submissions
  • Share submissions via Twitter, Facebook or Email
  • Share (Shout) submissions to your Digg network
  • Save submissions as favorites (to your Digg profile)
  • View related submissions and submissions from the same website
  • See how many times a story has been viewed (Note that it is not clearly defined as to what specific criteria is used for determining “views”)

Screenshot of the DiggBar in Action

What Else to Consider
The DiggBar is not a complete alternative to using Digg.com. Some things you still need and want to use Digg.com for (assuming you want to be an active member of the Digg community):

  • Commenting and viewing entire comment streams (DiggBar sends you back to Digg.com to comment)
  • Finding new, recent and upcoming stories (there are no timestamps associated to the DiggBar information)
  • Browsing Digg based on category and topical preference.
  • Lack of recommendations based on historic Digg activity (there is a random button but I personally find it of little use at the moment)
  • Networking with other active Digg users who share similar interests

At the very least, DiggBar provides people with an easier entry point for exploring the popular social news site and sharing information online. It certainly remains to be seen how this enhancement will impact Digg.com and the way users currently interact and vote on content in the community today.

I hope to write a more detailed post on some of the DiggBar functionality next week and I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic.

Additional Coverage of the DiggBar Release

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