Is Digsby an Adware ?
By on January 1st, 2009

What is Digsby

If you are not yet aware, Digsby is a wonderful applications that lets you combine the powers of Social Networking, IM and emails into a single application. For all socially networked souls in this Web 2.0 era, Digsby is like a cool breeze. It allows you to manage multiple clients and services from a single application. A big time saver.

But, what is BAD about Digsby

But, while I was installing Digsby on a friend’s computer recently, I noticed that Digsby has changed their installer and the new installer is just full of bad applications, all trying to have a share of your mindspace.

digsby

image credit: downloadsquad

As soon as you start installing Digsby, you will be presented with a barrage, as many as half a dozen, of applications, which will try to control your homepage, your default search engines, your search error page, and will also track your search patterns to suggest you shopping links.

After digging a bit, I also came to know that they are engaged in more than all this. Thanks Aaron.

If you think this is bad, you should check out their new ‘help digsby do research’ option that’s buried in their menu structure and ENABLED BY DEFAULT. This allows your computer to join a computational botnet that does commercial work that the Digsby team gets paid for (think folding@home for money). Notice your laptop fan whirring away unexpectedly? You’re probably doing protein analysis for some drug company. Totally shady. I’m dropping Digsby like a hot potato, I’ve lost all trust in the developers if they somehow think this is ‘okay’.

C’mon Digsby, that is too much.

Having said that, I acknowledge that it absolutely fair on the part of developers of Digsby to expect to earn some money from a wonderful application. I fully support them here.

But I think there are other better and more respectable ways to earn money than to team up with a few services, which have long been known to carry out shady practices.

Someone might argue that they are just giving you the options to opt for these services at the time of installation. It is all upto users to accept or reject these offers.

But I totally disagree with this viewpoint. Even after a lot of spread of knowledge about spyware, adware and online security threat, still I find a majority of Internet users not knowing what they are clicking and how they should click on a link. They do not bother to pause a fraction of a second just to ponder where this click will lead to. I have seen many computer users just switch off their browser status bar just to save a little browsing space and totally ignoring the risks associated.

In this situation, how can you expect people to fully know the consequences of such additional installations, which come so-called-free with Digsby.

I would suggest that Digsby can try to use a “Donation” button, which might compensate for the development costs. And if they expect to get more, they can make two versions of Digsby. One FREE with minimalistic features, and the second PRO with advanced features. This is a standard practice and well regarded by the Internet community.

If Digsby do not change their practice, the day may not be far when people will dump them like Kaaza and LimeWire, which also involved themselves into shady practices, although in a bit more hidden ways.

What is your take? Just shoot here in the comments section.

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Author: Silki
I am Silki Garg, a telecom professional from the holy city of Varanasi in India. I have a natural crush for Technology and having bitten by Blogging Bug. I usually have a contrarian approach.

Silki has written and can be contacted at silki@techie-buzz.com.

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