Home Sub.DiggerPlus Finally Makes Digg’s Social Network Useful; Too Bad People Are Afraid to Use It

Sub.DiggerPlus Finally Makes Digg’s Social Network Useful; Too Bad People Are Afraid to Use It

A new service called Sub.DiggerPlus vastly improves the user experience for social news mega-site Digg and its social networking features. The service shows a Digg user’s friends’ link submissions in an attractive slideshow of live pages inside a frame. Digg’s own view of friends’ submissions is cluttered with extra pageviews and not a lot of fun to use. Sub.DiggerPlus could make users want to make more friends and increase small group engagement with Digg, something the social networking feature of the site has always aimed for but never really delivered. So what’s the catch?

Digg users are afraid to use Sub.DiggerPlus because Digg has banned users in the past for using scripts to make digging your friends’ links faster and more thoughtless. Given Digg’s moves today to further open up its API for 3rd party applications, its own highly controversial introduction of a tool-bar frame and the fact that Digging your friends’ links without actually looking them up is much easier on the Digg site than it is with the Sub.Diggerplus service – given all that, banning people for using the site would be supremely ironic. On Twitter and Digg, though, people are expressing both excitement about the interface and fear of getting banned for using it.

To use Sub.DiggerPlus just visit the page and enter a username. If it’s your username, all the better – but it doesn’t have to be because no login is required. Then you’ll be taken through a slideshow of all the most recent submissions from friends of the account you entered by name. If you are logged in to Digg, then you’ll see the Digg toolbar at the top of the page to vote on the links you’re viewing. All of that will go on inside another Sub.DiggerPlus frame – it’s my Digg in a box, you might say. (Sorry!)

The Digg method of viewing friends’ submissions shows you links not directly to the pages submitted but to their item pages on Digg with comments, etc. It’s pretty unwieldy but it means more pageviews for Digg. Sub.DiggerPlus, on the other hand, makes friends’ submissions a lot more fun to stumble through.

So will Digg allow the app to be used – or will the company ban people who use it? It would be absurd for them to ban users on account of this service (unless there’s some detail we’re not seeing in this story) – but are you ready to risk having your account nuked on the biggest social news site on the web? There’s been no word that we’ve seen from Digg management, but the fear around applications like this can’t help but be a hindrance to adoption of the API, for small innovators on the margins at least. Presumably Digg API implementations by large trusted old-media brands will feel nice and safe and see plenty of adoption.

In the meantime – I’ll see you at Sub.DiggerPlus.

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