A reader e-mailed me to say,

Some program called "Digg" has set itself up on the VC website, next to the comments on each post. I assume it's a virus or spam of some kind, so I thought I'd alert you to it so that you can have the tech people get rid of it.

It turns out that the virus is so powerful that it has infected me, and persuaded me to include it on the site. To quote Wikipedia,

Digg is a community-based news website [that] ... combines social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication with a form of non-hierarchical, democratic editorial control. News stories and websites are submitted by users, and then promoted to the front page through a user-based ranking system....

If you're a digg user, then the digg button makes it easy for you to submit whatever posts of ours you find worth submitting. As Wikipedia says, "Digg has grown large enough that submissions sometimes create a sudden increase of traffic to the 'dugg' website." That's the plan!

UPDATE: Because the fancy digg button caused hangups in some browsers, I've taken it off. The fancy link still have a few glitches, but it ought to be functional for most posts, and harmless for those where it doesn't function. I hope. Keep me posted!

chocgog (mail):
So you're aware, the page freezes in Firefox (OS X) while it waits for the information to load from I tried it on my computer and my girlfriend's computer with the same outcome, but it seems to load properly in Safari.

Other than that, I kinda dig the new feature...
2.15.2007 1:39am
John McCall (mail):
Easiest solution: add "vertical-align: top" to the style for the comments link.
2.15.2007 1:45am
llamasex (mail) (www):
It is just a guess but I think the delay in loading might have something to do with the number of posts shown on the main page.

I ran into this earlier today as I was playing around on my own page (I had show 500 posts turned on) and when I added adsense to see what happened it took forever to load up.

If it isn't much trouble I would try limiting the main page to show only the first 20 posts and see what the result is. Hell you might even be able to go back to the graphics if I am right.
2.15.2007 2:00am
Eugene Volokh (www):
Llamasex: Good advice, and I might follow it at some point, but for now I think I'd rather have readers seem more of our posts on one page than have the nifty digg graphic.
2.15.2007 2:33am
I like the text links that are here now better than the graphics from before. Both worked fine on my OSX mozilla-derived browser.
2.15.2007 3:38am
libertarian soldier (mail):
Having been off it for a week, now when I go to your blog, my screen shows one blog commentary and associated comments, and then a bunch of administrivia and I have no idea where the rest of your blog is. It does the same thing when I go to an archive.
2.15.2007 3:48am
Gaius Obvious (mail):
libertarian soldier, I get the same thing when I use IE to read it, but if I use Firefox the site loads normally.
2.15.2007 3:51am
Visitor Again:
I can only read one message--this one--when I come to your blog, and I use Internet Explorer 7.0. Every other message has disappeared. Where the earlier messages should be there is a bunch of links to your contributors and to the archives. When I bring up one of the archives, all the archive page shows is one message and then the administrative links. Fix it.
2.15.2007 4:20am
Gaius Obvious (mail):
(link)Visitor Again:Fix it.

It's rude to make demands of people who are doing something for the joy of it. This site costs you nothing and owes you nothing. I personally want to thank Mr. Volokh and all the other contributors for all the work that has gone into this site for us to read and make comments.
2.15.2007 4:58am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Gaius Obvious-

It's rude to make demands of people who are doing something for the joy of it.

Of course there are exceptions to this, some people enjoy committing crimes, torts, and rights violations against other people. But the statement you were referring to was a little pushy.
2.15.2007 5:10am
Jay Goodman Tamboli (mail) (www):
Digg used to be a good site for finding cool, new links, but my impression is that most of it is crap these days. A lot of people trying to game the system. I could be wrong, though, as I haven't paid much attention to some of the smaller categories.
2.15.2007 6:23am
Dave Griffith (mail):

Visitor Again --

I can only read one message--this one--when I come to your blog, and I use Internet Explorer 7.0.

Here's a nickel. Go buy a real browser.
2.15.2007 9:21am
Eugene Volokh (www):
I think I fixed it overnight -- hope the blog is entirely visible through all browsers, and at least mostly diggable. If it's not, please let me know!
2.15.2007 10:43am
Orielbean (mail):
Just beware your deal with your hosting company - the Digg or Slashdot "effect" of having a stampede of fresh visitors all at once can sometimes have the page fail or go down for a while. I think it is a great use of web 2.0 and the content here is worthy of additional eyes. But I have seen my friends with small-time pages get a monster bill at the end of an effect cycle.
2.15.2007 10:52am
anonymous6 (mail):
For whatever its worth, here is my opinion as a daily reader and almost non-contributor of both Digg and VC:

Don't invite the Digg crowd here. If a post gets dugg, you'll have thousands of new people come in, with some significant fraction of them making posts.

The Digg population's demographics are such that most of these new posters will not be contributing thoughtful or careful analysis--spend some time surfing the comments at Digg on some controversial subject to see what I mean.

The level of discourse here is much higher than most places on the web. A massive influx of diggers is very likely to bring it down. Remember, these are the people voting up such careful legal analysis as:

Appeal Denied! Deep Linking Still Illegal - Copyright law gone crazy!

It's an interesting story, but read the headline and comments. That's what you're getting when you invite the Digg crowd to a relatively technical blog.
2.15.2007 12:09pm
lucia (mail) (www):
One suggestion: In comments or when reading the full posts, the "digg" link appears after the long important note to readers. If you want the "digg" link more visible when people read full posts, you might want to shift where that appears in your template. (The location seems perfect when displaying on the main page.)
2.15.2007 12:28pm
I agree with the above poster. I enjoy the comments on Volokh precisely because they are not like Digg comments. The posts here are enjoyable to read and thought provoking. Please keep the Digg crowd away.
2.15.2007 12:29pm
MikeMD (mail):
I've dugg a few headlines from here...some get a few diggs, but nothing more. Until you start posting naked pictures of federal judges or write posts involving iPods and the legal system, having your entries posted on Digg won't have much effect.
2.15.2007 12:53pm
Orielbean (mail):
Digg has fallen off in terms of quality, but I always find the Slashdot crowd interesting. I don't think they use those links like Digg does, and the article submissions are heavily moderated. However, they have excellent quality and usually consider many eclectic topics from a tech-centric point of view. They would have useful contributions around patent / copyright laws, and specifically things related to the DMCA and DRM.
2.15.2007 1:11pm
"digg this" sounds funny to me, and at the end of each post, looks like an expression of bravado.

It's as if, at the conclusion of each post, the poster says "digg this, morons."
2.15.2007 1:19pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
I play it cool
And dig all jive
That's the reason
I stay alive.

My motto,
As I live and learn,
Dig And Be Dug
In Return.
2.15.2007 1:32pm
Here's a recent post from another blog regarding digg. I think it is very appropriate: / wwdnbackup/2007/02 / what_happened_t.html

To quote Wil Wheaton, "the maturity and behavior of the average Digger has evolved into, well, something resembling a middle school lunch room"

If the members of the conspiracy have an unbounded amount of time to patrol the comments, by all means digg away. The odds of anyone who reads digg adding anything to the discussion, though, remains extremely remote.
2.15.2007 5:18pm
advisory opinion:
Did I already mention that Digg was faddish? No Diggs please. I say nay.
2.15.2007 9:28pm