Monthly Archives: October 2007

ruining the digg experience, one shout at a time

it was supposed to be a feature that we had all been requesting for a long time: the ability to communicate with other digg users easily, and on the site. instead it ended up being a spam nightmare. here are my thoughts on david’s ten reasons to hate digg shouts:

note: i omitted reason 4, 6, 9, and 10 because they are largely irrelevant.

1. new diggers are now able to get submissions on the homepage

i don’t know why this is on the list david. allowing new diggers to get on the homepage is a good thing. it gives them an ego boost and ensures future participation from them. i think the fact that new diggers get on the homepage is not a problem, rather the problem is that they spam their way there.

2. it doesn’t require as much skill to get submissions on the homepage – anyone can do it

yes, this is incredibly annoying because people who don’t care about social bookmarking etiquette can get on the homepage while the people who actually give a damn (and are refraining from shout-spamming) have a lesser chance to succeed.

3. new diggers are adding 900+ friends, shouting them all and getting 40 diggs in less then an hour

i think that is an understatement. i’ve seen people add just a hundred friends, shout to them and get an 80% response, after which they don’t need any more (most of these new spammer-diggers can get a story on the homepage using this method with just 40-50 diggs). this is one of the main reasons why i have 2,108 fans but only 98 mutual friends (and decreasing). i’m hesitant to network with other people for fear of getting spammed.

5. top diggers are being challenged

a challenge is good but putting michael jordan in a wheelchair and asking him to compete is not a challenge, it’s a crime…

7. ron paul submissions can now get over 100 diggs in an hour

the best part, though, and the part that makes me love digg (and the social news space in general) is that the content is still moderated so that legitimate content gets on the homepage and stays there while most of the spam is buried while it is still in the upcoming queue, or shortly after reaching the homepage.

8. the feature reminds me of netscape/propeller

i’ve written extensively about this and yes they pretty much copied the feature from propeller without learning how to prevent (or limit) spam the way propeller is trying to.

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fast-track yourself to a stumblegod

one of the many factors that stumbleupon uses to asses your ranking in their hierarchy of users is how many pages, photos, and videos you have stumbled. i recently discovered a stumbleupon-approved way of stumbling at light-speed.

by clicking tools > toolbar options and clicking through to shortcuts, you can set keyboard shortcuts for the various stumbleupon interaction options.

furthermore, you can go to the configuration panel from toolbar options and set your preferences so that based on whether you like or dislike a page (or both), the toolbar automatically sends you a new one without having to keep on clicking the stumble button.

once you’ve made these two changes, all you need to keep in mind are your ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ shortcuts and you can keep on stumbling without using your mouse.

note: it is also a good idea to ‘prefetch stumbles’ (from toolbar options > configuration panel) so that new pages don’t take extra time.

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pownce releases public api

pownce, kevin rose’s twitter-clone, just released their public api.

right now you can get lists of public notes, user profiles, and individual notes with replies. we’ll soon be adding the ability to post notes and get friends-only or private notes. check out the api documentation to find out more details.

this is definitely a good step for pownce (towards bringing it in line with other micro-blogging platforms) but i’m still left wondering what to use the service for. twitter (even with all its drawbacks) has a larger user base, is less buggy, more light-weight, and already has a slew of api-based applications that i can use. furthermore, the one reason why i was using pownce (as a digg-messaging service) was made redundant once the digg team added shouts to the latest revision of digg.

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security hell… and live to tell

many of you have pointed out that searching for my site on google prompts the user that my site may harm your computer. my wordpress installation was hacked and some code was injected into my index.php which was causing people’s browsers and anti-virus software to scream.

i have just upgraded to the latest and greatest wordpress and have upgraded three of my plugins (i have my thoughts on what may have been responsible), and hope everything is back to normal now; especially since i have a big day of posting planned for tomorrow.

p.s. i’m sorry for any inconvenience. trust me, i’m just as annoyed.

i don’t know why google hates me

hi everyone, just wanted to quickly point out (as i am getting on a flight in a few hours) that i am aware that google is mad at me for some reason and thinks that my site will harm your computer. i have contacted them about this and am waiting for their response.

i have no idea why google thinks this and i assure you that i’m doing no such thing (at least not intentionally) and am looking into this further. thanks to everyone who pointed this out to me.

muhammad.