Like most things, we seem to be travelling back in time to pick out the worst shit possible, give it a nifty Web 2.0 type name and then release it upon the world proclaiming it as great stuff. Case in point is social media services like Digg and Facebook bringing back the black plague of iframe software toolbars.
These were a bad idea back in the 1990 and they are still a bad idea a decade later.
As it is, just about any blog already offers plenty ways for you to share posts so this idea does nothing to benefit the blog owner and in some ways does them damage. Along with that I personally find them nothing but an eyesore that makes a blog look like a page that is being provided by which ever toolbar provider the reader is using.
Some folks are suggesting that blog owners will benefit by an increase in pageviews but that is an argument that makes no sense. If I wasn’t getting that Digg, or Facebook, traffic before how is the addition of some page stealing toolbar going to make any difference?
Personally I couldn’t careless if I get traffic from sites like Digg as I find I get better stickiness from services like Twitter and Friendfeed than I ever have from Digg. However I’ll be damned if I’ll let sites like Digg benefit from any Google juice that their shortened links to posts here give them. While Digg and Facebook would like us to believe that this isn’t the case just search Google and you’ll start finding results like this
So whose getting the benefit of Google juice here?
It sure isn’t the originating blog(s) where those posts were published. In this case Digg gets the juice and the eyeballs instead of the rightful owner of the post – that’s theft or at the very least misappropriation of the blog owner’s visibility.
Kevin at ToMuse had a great blog post today where he talked about this and while he gave 3 solid reasons why we should break these toolbars he also points out
From a publisher’s standpoint, the framing of one’s website by another is considered both unethical and illegal. It effectively steals content, traffic, and potential revenue from the original content owner. From a user’s point of view, the initial attraction to these new framing toolbars (i.e. HootSuite, Krumlr, DiggBar, Facebook) is their ease of use and ability to shorten URLs for use on Twitter.
What most users fail to understand is that, as this frame spamming technique is adopted by others, it will clutter websites to the point at which content across the web is nullified. This is exactly what happened in the late 1990’s and why, in addition to the infringement upon publishers copyrights and subsequent lawsuits, the trend didn’t last.
And this regurgitation of what was bad about Web 1.0 should be stopped now before it pollutes Web 2.0 any further. There’s enough to bitch about when it comes to Web 2.0 the last thing we need is crap like this adding to the mess.
I have already implemented one variety of the toolbar busting scripts here because I refuse to let services like Digg and Facebook hijack this blog. For those of you looking to do the same there are a growing number of ways to do this.
If you run a WordPress blog you can try out Phil Nelson’s just released plug-in which you can find here. If you want a simple and clean method you can try using this snippet of code in the header section of your blog which was provided by Daniel J. Pritchett on Friendfeed
There are some ideas that just should stay in the past as testament to what we have done wrong and this <cough> new </cough> iframe toolbar idea is one of them. They are however not something that I’ll be allowing to have show up here if I can do anything about it.[Google graphic courtesy of ToMuse]
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