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Friday, January 27, 2023

Monitoring Buries At Digg

Earlier this month, I
wrote
a long article looking at how some people at Digg might bury stories
just because they disliked the topic rather than the story content itself.
Indeed, many doing buries might not have read the article. Worse, they might use
the bury reason of "spam" rather than more appropriate options. Unfortunately,
there’s no easy way at Digg to see who has done a bury over a long period of
time. However,
The Bury Brigade Exists, and Here’s My Proof
from Pronet Advertising describes a new technique you can try to monitor things,
and I’ll add some tweaks to that as well.

Muhammad Saleem writes about tapping into the Digg Spy service. Digg Spy is
awesome. I might seriously get a LCD projector and a spare computer to display
Digg activity on the wall over my regular monitors.
Bigspy shows stories dropping from
above, with the font size indicating how popular a story is (also check out
Digg Swarm and
Digg Stack for other awesome visual
displays). It’s compelling.

Digg Spy is a more "classic" view of
digging activity. The page constantly refreshes, showing you what people are
reporting as spam, burying, marking popular and so on. Unfortunately, you can
only see the last 20 or so activities that have happened.

Muhammad describes how to call up Digg Spy activity in a textual format:



http://www.digg.com/spy_update?timestamp=11600000&showtop=2&showitems=1
&showdiggs=1 &showburies=1&showcomments=1&showtop=2&maxitems=25

Do this, and you see all the Digg activity in pure textual format. You can
then import it into a program (even a spreadsheet) to generate reports.

Muhammad talks about how to spot a comment, a Digg, a submit and a bury —
plus how to get more than 25 results. That got me thinking, and playing — could
I filter things to only show buries?

It turned out to be pretty easy. It was just a matter of dropping out all the
parameters not needed. For example, the &showdiggs=1 part in the URL above means
that you should be given any Diggs in the data you request. Set the value to 0,
and the Diggs disappear. Or just remove the parameter altogether. Here’s what
I’ve been using:


http://www.digg.com/spy_update?&showburies=1&maxitems=1000

That says to display only bury activity (the part I’ve bolded) and to show
the last 1000 actions of that type. Want more than 1,000 actions? Set the
maxitems number (also shown in bold) to whatever you want.

Here’s an example of a bury for spam reason:

{"type":"report","itemid":"1457387","date":"2007-02-28
04:31:15","timestamp":"1172665875","reason":"Spam",
"plk":"http:\/\/digg.com\/design\/Top_10_SEO_Mistakes_and_What_to_Do_to_Correct_It_2","title":
"Top 10 SEO Mistakes and What to Do to Correct It","url":
"http:\/\/seo-blog.seojoint.com\/archives\/top-10-seo-mistakes-and-what-to-do-to-correct-it\/",
"dig_count":"1","area":"Upcoming","userimage":""},

The first bolded word "report" tells you this line is a bury. The second
bolded section tells you the reason for the bury was that this was deemed to be
spam. A key element is missing, however: "uid." That, if present, would show the
name of the person doing the burying.

Muhammad got his tip from doing this from David LeMieux, who
created a
Digg Bury Expose site.
Rather than having to look through the ugly data like above, his site nicely
showed all the people who were burying things and why. But David’s site now says
"looks like they figured out their bug." What I think he means is that the UID
field was probably removed only from buries after he started his site, so that
buries remained anonymous.


Spying On Digg Spy
is another article you may find useful, if you want to
play with the Digg Spy feature and pull data from it. Of course, the real
solution would be for Digg to publicly show in Diggers’ profiles what they are
burying and why, in the same way they’re happy to show someone’s submitting and
Digging history.


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