Digg, this is annoying.

What happened to the quality of Digg as a website? Recently I returned to my Digging activities, after having not been active for some time. Other than the “fresh start” feeling, I also get the vibe that I’m browsing MySpace every now and then. Why? Well, if you’re a MySpace user, you know that you get the “MSOD” (myspace screen of death) error messages every 2-3 link clicks (boy does MySpace tech support stay busy).

The past few days, I’ve been staring at more “Oops” and “Oh noes” pages on Digg than I have actual content. Every time I click a link I get an error message of some sort. What the hell? I just wanted to view page two of the upcoming articles, how was the page not found?

Aside from that, the speed of the site is still an issue, but that’s okay. The new submission process takes 5-10 minutes to actually work, so I often have time to run and get food or smoke a cigarette before I return to find my “Awww Crap, something broke” page.



Digg & Photobucket Team Up

Digg announced today that they will roll out the long awaited “Images” category that so many have been waiting to see released. Along with the new category, they are also adding some image-related tweaks to the site. Those changes are detailed in the blog post:

  • New Universal Taxonomy
    Now you can submit news, images, or videos to any category on Digg! Categories will be consistent across the board, which means you can view all media types in a given topic, or view one media type at a time (e.g., only images under the “sports” category). We’re also excited to support the launch with new categories. “Offbeat” will be its own category, with new topics, and we’re adding a whole new “Lifestyle” category with topics like Autos, Food & Drink, and Travel. As always, if you don’t want to see a particular topic or media type on Digg, you can click the customize button in the navigation to filter your view.
  • New Images Crawler
    Submitting images to Digg is basically the same as submitting news and videos, with a few notable differences. When you submit a link to a web page containing multiple images, Digg will crawl the page and present up to ten image thumbnails from that page for you to choose the one you want. We’ve also added this technology to news submissions.
  • Sorting and Duplicate Image Detection
    We’ve added a new sort to the images section called “mosaic” view – it’s great for browsing image thumbnails. To help prevent people from submitting duplicate images, we’ve added image recognition technology from Idée Inc.

Along with the new features, Digg has teamed up with Photobucket to gather content for the new category. Photobucket will add “Digg This” buttons to their photos shortly after the channel goes live tonight.

I can only speculate, having not followed the development of this long awaited feature, that the long wait is attributed to this partnership between Digg and Photobucket. Having two features on two sites as large as Digg & Photobucket roll out around the same time can be a cumbersome process, either of the two could cause delays for the other.

Read: Images and new categories launch tonight

Ad Farmers Took My Name!

I was seriously considering buying a domain to use with this blog. While thinking, I started going over some things at which point I decided that just using my last name would be the best solution. Jeremiah Hoyet is a relatively long name, and since my first and last name are both extremely uncommon, I think it would be best to have readers just remember one part of it.

The problem is, Hoyet.com has already been registered! No less, it was registered by a ad-farming company. I wouldn’t mind so much if the name were registered to a long-lost relative of mine, but ad farmers? Come on!

The name servers even tell a sad tale:

Name Server: NS1.HITFARM.COM
Name Server: NS2.HITFARM.COM
Name Server: NS3.HITFARM.COM

“hitfarm.com”. . .

Updated Sociable Plugin

I updated the popular “Sociable” WordPress plugin to reflect Netscape’s change to the name Propeller. Although all Netscape submit buttons on the web current work, they still need to be updated.

You can download the file here.

To install it, extract the folders on your computer, then upload the folder named “Sociable” to your wp-content/plugins directory.

The Readers’ Needs

While surfing through Digg or Propeller, I started noticing something. The topics I am truly interested in just don’t jump out at me. Neither of the sites cater to specific set of topics I would like to view.
Content I Care About: When I’m browsing through Propeller, I seldom stop to read political news thrououghly. I also seldom find myself reading a travel blog and not being bored. I mainly enjoy reading technology-related news and the occasional humor submission. So, why clutter MY front page with Politics? Why even show me submissions categorized under the “Travel” section? Let me choose the sections I want to see.

You may be thinking “Well, Digg does this already,” and you’re right, but ideally I’d like it taken a step further. Really narrow down what the reader is actually interested in, and cut out the excess from their experience. If I’m generally interested in technology, but not so interested in what latests iPhone hacks there are, then I don’t want to see it. Got a story about how much of a performance increase the G92 GPUs bring about, I want it to be emphisized.

This may be asking a lot, but think about it from a readers stand point. I want to get to the site and see what interests me, while at the same time getting the best from those who are submitting and voting on the same things I am. Sifting through pages and pages of random things may be fun to some people, but not to everyone.

Propeller is close to having this functionality with it’s tagging system. For example, I have created a “Tag Channel” of my own by submitting a good number of hardware-related news under the tag “Hardware Review“. The only issue is that I can’t select tags I would prefer to see over others. Think of it like, a Linux fan excludes all submissions tagged “Apple” or “Windows”, because it doesn’t interest them.

Now that I’m done rambling. Not all is bad, but I think the reader’s experience and ability to use the site to read what they want could use some work, that’s all.