Meta-tags proposal for the new DiggBar

Many think the DiggBar is evil. I don’t. I find it ingenious, especially the digg.com pre-pending which will automatically generate a shortened URL for you as well as a “Submit to Digg” button if the page URL has not been submitted yet.

prepending digg.com for the digg bar

unsubmitted diggbar

However, when you submit a link to Digg by this way, the title and description of the item are empty by default, placing the burden to fill up these fields on the submitter. He needs to go back to the page, copy the title, copy some text of the article or make up a better description, which is all a pain and poses a big hurdle…

Digg submission - all empty

Digg offers a way for webmasters to create a link that will pre-fill these fields with the data you want your readers to use. This is done by simply setting some parameter in a URL to put as target of the link:

http://digg.com/submit?url=example.com&title=TITLE&bodytext=DESCRIPTION&media=MEDIA&topic=TOPIC

But this process is not compatible with the DiggBar and its URL pre-pending feature. What we, webmasters, need is a way to define these values that will work everytime.

Why not Meta tags? Step 1 of the step 2 in the screenshot above is Digg downloading the page to check it really exists and provide potential thumbnails for the submission. At this stage they could read a couple of meta tags in the <head> of the page and use that to pre-fill these fields.

<meta name="digg-title"  content="My title here" />
<meta name="digg-description" content="My 350 characters excerpt." />

It would then be trivial to write a WordPress plugin that generates these meta from your post title and excerpt (or similar concepts in other CMS platforms).

If you think this would be a feature you would like to see, I invite you to digg this blog post: http://digg.com/d1p1YV

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