Why I Don't Digg Forbes.com

Dharmesh Shah
Dharmesh Shah



I’ve seen more and more sites offer a “digg this” button on their article pages.  This includes both the blogosphere and mainstream sites.  We’ve had a  “submit to digg” button on the Small Business Hub site since inception.  We are big believers in social news sites like digg and reddit, and they generate a significant level of traffic for those of our articles that are well received there.


But, I can understand why some sites wouldn’t necessarily want put a “digg this” button on their article pages.  It does clutter up the site a little bit and if you don’t think your content is likely to get submitted to digg, there’s no sense in wasting space on the page.  Forbes.com is evidently one of these sites.  So, I wasn’t that surprised when I discovered that an article I liked on why Sequoia claimed they didn’t want to sell YouTube to Google , didn’t have a “submit to digg” button so I could share it with others..  No harm done.


So, I decided to use my “digg this” bookmarklet (a convenient little javascript bookmark that makes it easy to submit URLs to digg).  I was surprised when instead of giving me the form to fill out the description and select a category (the usual behavior), it instead started me at Step 1, asking me to enter the URL.  I thought I had done something wrong, so I repeated the process.  Still no luck.  Switched from FireFox to IE7.  Still no luck.  It kept asking for the URL and title of the article.


After some quick investigation, I finally figured out that the original URL to Forbes.com was essentially not “diggable” in the traditional way, via the bookmarklet.  This was likely due to the ad they splice in when you access that URL for the first time.  Once you skip through it, it plants a cookie, and then you’re ok.  So, when the digg software tried to access the URL, it likely didn’t see any content (and hence forced me to enter the URL and title of the page manually.  Ugh.


If I were running Forbes.com, I’d make it easier for people to submit their articles to the social news sites.   If they don’t want to add a “digg it” button, they could at least not prevent me from using the submission bookmarket.    I think they’re missing an opportunity.


So, that’s why I don’t digg Forbes.com.  Have you seen any other sites that exhibit this problem?


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