By Ed Oswald | Friday, February 27, 2009 at 11:00 am
A Flickr photo has set off a firestorm of speculation across the web as to the social news sites future plans, which apparently involve the launch of a application-free browser toolbar. It would appear that the toolbar would work much like application StumbleUpon debuted last year.
SU originally started as a browser add-on, however it ditched that model to use HTML frames instead in September. Users start their experience from the SU homepage, and their browsing afterward appears in the framed user interface.
A user would be able to digg stories without actually going to the site, as well as submit content. Like SU’s app, they would also be able to randomly surf to another digged site from the toolbar itself.
It would also allow for the easy sharing of digged sites through Facebook messages, e-mail, Digg “shouts,” or through Twitter.
Now this sounds all well and good, and interesting, so how is it a bad thing for Digg? Simply put, its going to add a significant amount of noise to the site. Digg’s submission process acts somewhat as a filter of sorts, discouraging people from digging everything and anything.
Using a toolbar would simplify this process dramatically. It would also probably have the effect of muddying the site with a lot of submissions that are of little value. This would also cheapen Digg’s brand in my opinion.
While yes I understand the sites desire to increase traffic, I am not so sure going to a toolbar may be a good idea.