Get Insight into Digg's Bury System with Ajaxonomy's Bury Recorder


If you have been using the popular service Digg you know that it is very easy to submit a story and to see it start to gain traction just to be buried into the dark abyss. What I find particularly frustrating is that you don't know how many people buried the story and the reason for the bury. If you have seen Digg Spy you have noticed that the application does show buries, but you can't just track data for a particular story.

After much frustration Ajaxonomy is now releasing a Bury Recorder application. How the application works is you take the story's URL (This is the URL of the page that the "more" link on the Digg upcoming/popular pages takes you or the page that clicking on the story title takes from your profile i.e.[story]) and put it into the application and once you click "Watch for Buries" the application will start recording any buries that the story receives. This will allow you to see if your story had 100 diggs and 5 buries before it was permanently buried, or if it was more like 100 diggs and 300 buries. The idea is that you would submit a story and then have the recorder capture any buries from the time that you start the application watching for buries. You'll want to note that in this Beta 1.0 release, so currently you have to leave your machine on and the application open in order to make sure that it continues to capture buries.

Before I go a bit into the design and more information on using the application I wanted to say that the application is open source and can be changed and put on your server. If you do change it and/or put it on a different server then we just ask for a link back to us and credit us for the initial creation of the application. Also, if you do decide to put it on a server, let us know and we might link to your server as another option to elevate traffic concerns on our server.

So, now that I have you are excited you will want the link to the application. Click here to be taken to Bury Counter Application.

The following is a quick overview on how to use the application so that it will make it a bit less confusing to use (more than likely most people could figure it out, but this way if it looks like it isn't working you have somewhere to look).

Using the application is as easy as one two three, however there are two ways to use the application below is the first way of using the application.

  1. Open the application (once again the link to the application is here)
  2. Copy and paste the URL of the story into the text box (i.e.[story])
  3. Click the "Watch for Buries" button and then let the application start recoding buries (make sure not to close the application or to turn off/hibernate your computer)

The other way to use the application is as easy as one two (yep, there is no three using this method). Before using the below steps you will need to create a bookmarklet which can be done by following the directions at the bottom of the application.

  1. Click on the bookmarklet from the story page on Digg (this has to be the page that you get when you click on the "more" link in Digg [or from your profile page it would be the page that clicking on the title of the story takes you] which is the page that you would use to get the URL for the first method)
  2. Click the "Watch for Buries" button and then let the application start recoding buries (make sure not to close the application or to turn off/hibernate your computer)

Now that you know how to use the application I will go a bit into how the application was created. This application gets the JSON Feed used by Digg Spy. It does this using Ajax (i.e. the XMLHTTPRequest object) which requires a server side proxy due to domain security restrictions. Due to the way that the JSON is returned from Digg Spy, it doesn't set a variable equal to the returned object, which force us to use the before mentioned server side proxy and an eval statement instead of using DOM manipulation. The application simply polls for updated data every 20 seconds which makes sure we don't miss any data and that it doesn't put too much strain on the server.

You can download the full source code for this Beta 1.0 release here.

This release has been tested in Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. It should work in many more browsers, but has not yet been tested. If you try it in a different browser and either find bugs or the application works perfectly then we would appreciate if you contact us regarding your testing results.

Also, if you do any cool things with the application or if you have any cool ideas then feel free to blog about it on this blog. Just sign up for a free account and once you login click on "Create Content" => "Blog Entry" and then write your post. If the admins of this site feel that your post is an interesting one they will move it to the home page.

I hope that you find this application useful and that you keep checking for new version and improvements.

[...] Link: Get Insight Into Digg’s Bury System With Ajaxonomy’s Bury Recorder. [...]

[...] on top of data pulled from Digg Spy. For a bit of the why and how, creator David Hurth at Ajaxonomy gives this introduction: If you have been using the popular service Digg you know that it is very easy to submit a story [...]

I tried the script but didn't work.

I need to set special permissions?

Hi Votan,

Could you send me some information on the server that you are trying to run the script on (i.e. php version, etc...).

You can email me at david[at]ajaxonomy[dot]com

Is it still possible to host the script? I am either really tired or just stupid, I can't seem to find a link and I know I saw it here before. = Chris Lang

Hi Chris,

You should be able to get the code at This is also in the above post (it does take a little while to find)


I have had a few Digg posts go front page but then as soon as it did it was pounced on by bury brigades and buried back to upcoming where it never recovered.

I wondered if you have any documentation on this from your database?

Also, is there any solution to this kind of malicious activity?

Digg seems to be at least trying to clean up their image but the problem still stands: Bury brigades have gotten even more malicious, waiting until you go front page and then burying you back to upcoming.

I got 400 Diggs in 22 hours on one post and yet still remained in upcoming after appearing on the front page for an instant. True, both the site my guest blog post appeared on and my own blog appear in top 10 Google results for the term we targeted. So in the end I got what I wanted but at the same time it is kind of frustrating to have a bunch of malicious kids take that front page score away from me.

One last question, do you have any documentation as to how much weight a bury carries versus a Digg? In my testing it is worth about 1 bury to 100 Diggs depending on how many Diggs you got from Digg top 100 Diggers.

I also wanted to let you know that Squidoo pages are buried on sight by the Digg top 1000. Don't try to use a Squidoo page in Digg, it is a waste of your time. I feel this carries over to other Bookmarking sites as well, except for the Google social bookmarking app that does not have a spam or bury button.

Thanks for the great app! - Chris Lang

I tried the Script 3 to 4 times, with little adjustment , its working fine for me . Really good to see that Digg's burry working for me.

Thanks for sharing this. I heard something about it and I checked it. This looks pretty interesting and I'll share it with my friends.

I hope that we will see more from you.

Angelo Gotin

I want to edit the ajaxonomy bury recorder script that can be seen here:
More information here: The script is open source, and very simple. I want it edited so it takes a couple more digg-api elements into consideration. Basically, you need to take the same digg-api output and run it through an equation we will give you to produce a user friendly front end. This should be a simple project for someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.

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