Rose Admits DiggBar Is Similar To StumbleUpon, Homepage Still Lacks Diversity

Posted Mar 18, 2009

Once upon a time it was every blogger’s dream to see one of their posts make it to the homepage.  That is up until other social media websites started making irrelevant such as Reddit, Mixx, StumbleUpon, etc.  I’ve seen the benefits of becoming popular on StumbleUpon a few times and have al seen the benefits of becoming popular on Digg several times.

Personally I prefer becoming popular on StumbleUpon since the traffic slows down after a few days, but it never goes away.  Even after becoming popular on StumbleUpon several months ago, you’ll still get thousands of hits every month from StumbleUpon.  Digg popularity just stays for a couple days and the traffic just goes away.

Late last month, I wrote about how Digg was secretly developing a web toolbar of their own to emulate the success of StumbleUpon and TinyURL.  In an interview with Wired, Digg executives Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson acknowledged the development of the DiggBar. When Wired asked Rose to explain the DiggBar, here is how he responded:

It’s not out yet, but it’s coming soon. Basically, it’s a small, framed bar, it’s not software you install.

It turns Digg into a short URL provider, so now all of our links will be, for example When you go to one of these shortened URLs, it draws a really thin bar across the top.

You get the full destination site underneath it, but you also get this thin bar at the top that allows you to Digg it, to see the hot comments on that story, to see related content to the article you’re viewing beneath it. There’s also a “random” button that gives you Stumble Upon-type functionality that takes you to random sites around the web.

If you want to create a Diggbar, just go into your browser’s address bar. Leave the full URL in there for the site you’re currently browsing, and just type “” in front of that and hit Enter. We take that entire URL, process it, turn it into a short URL, then bring you back to the page with the Diggbar and the full original site beneath it.

You get redirected to the short URL, so you can grab it and copy it. We also have icons on the Diggbar to post to Facebook and Twitter. It’s just a great way to spread our content to the most popular microblogging services.

I think that this toolbar would actually be a value-add to if only they could solve the bias that they have towards certain websites.  In the middle of last month I did a 7-day study on which sites appear the most on’s technology section.  It turned out that 8 websites control over 30% of Digg?s technology section. did a similar study yesterday.  It turns out that they found out that 46% of the Digg front page is controlled by 50 websites.  Below is a list of the top 30 “whitelisted” sites that become popular on Digg on a regular basis.

“In many ways, Digg has become the personal RSS feed for sites like TorrentFreak, xkcd, and Cracked as the vast majority of submissions from these and other sites will hit the front page regardless of the submitter,” stated the Soshable editor that put together the study.

As every day passes I become less interested in Digg and more interested in StumbleUpon.  What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment.

[via Wired]