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digsby

Build 62 – Crystal Clear!

Several months ago, we started testing two unique revenue models to help us keep Digsby free and ad-free for all our users.  We posted a lengthy blog post describing the changes but we want to reiterate some of that information again and share some changes that we will be making in a release later today.

Now that some time has passed since we first implemented these changes, we would also like to take this opportunity to get feedback from our community of users about these revenue models and where we should go from here.

Installer

First, we introduced a new installer that shows you several offers during the installation process for other products such as the Yahoo Toolbar and a desktop weather application.  The reason we decided to test this revenue model is because we believe it is better to show you ads once during the installation process than to plaster banner ads all over the product like other IM clients have done (ie: AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ).  We want to do our best to keep Digsby free and ad-free and this is one way we are able to do so.

All the offers shown to you during installation are 100% optional.  You don’t have to install any of the products advertised in the installer and none of them will be downloaded or installed to your computer if you choose not to install them.  For each offer, there is an “Accept” and a “Decline” button.

There is more information about the installer in the original blog post.

Research Module

The second revenue model we started testing is a Grid Computing Module.  There is a lengthy explanation of what grid computing is and how this module works in the original blog post but the basic idea is that Digsby uses some of your computer’s unused CPU power while your computer is completely idle to do computation research for large scale projects that require thousands of computers to complete.

The module turns on after your computer has been completely idle for 5 minutes (no mouse or keyboard movement).  It then turns off the instant you move your mouse or the press a key on the keyboard.  We did this so it would have absolutely no effect on your computer’s performance and only uses processing power while your computer is not being used.  It also runs as a “low priority” process so if any application on your computer asks for CPU power it will always get it before the research module gets it.  On laptops, it uses a much smaller portion of your CPUs overall processing power than it does on desktops.  It will also never turn on if your laptop is running on battery power.

Just like the installer, we have made this module 100% optional.  You can disable it in the main menu by going to “Help > Support Digsby” and disabling the “Help Digsby Conduct Research” option.

Lack of Information

While the installer is quite obvious since you use it to install Digsby, the Research Module is not obvious to new users.  An article describing these revenue models was published yesterday on LifeHacker and most of the people commenting on the article did not know about it since they don’t follow our blog and don’t read the Terms of Service shown in the installer.

We are pushing out a release later today that will include the following changes:

  • We are moving the entire “Support Digsby” section out of the “Help” menu and into the preferences window so the option to enable/disable the research module is easier to find
  • Digsby will show a popup notification telling you about the module with a “Learn More” button which links to a page describing it in detail including instructions for how to enable/disable it.  The popup will be “sticky” so it will not disappear until you click “Learn More” or “Close” to ensure that users don’t accidentally miss it.

We want to make it completely clear to all users so Digsby is not doing anything you don’t want it to do.  The above changes have been on our to do list but the article really opened our eyes about how few people know about this functionality.  Our goal is to create the world’s best IM client and social media tool. The only way to accomplish that goal is with transparency and communication so we can keep working with you to make a better product.

Moving Forward

We are still a young company that is trying to figure out our long term revenue models.  At the end of the day, we need to keep the lights on and pay salaries so we can keep making Digsby even better by bringing new features (and products, ie: mac/linux) to market.  The reason we decided to test these two revenue models is because they would allow us to accomplish this while keeping Digsby free and ad-free.

The more traditional path to take is to place small unintrusive ads in Digsby and offer an ad-free version for a modest price.  While we felt that experimenting with unique revenue models that keep the product ad-free was the better path to take, that might not be how all of you feel.

We would like to take this opportunity to get feedback from all of you about which you would prefer.

Option 1: Continue to show multiple offers in the installer along with the research module

Option 2: Show just one toolbar offer in the installer like other IM clients do and place small unintrusive ads in the product with an ad-free pro version available for a modest price

Option 3: Other – let the creativity flow!


  • gRIMz

    Getting tired of reading about reviewers and people bashing Digsby like they were criminal. Even if i enabled my cpu cycles to be used for research when I am not using my computer, wake up people! The whole point of the world's recent green agendas could be that my computer "shouldn't" be on while not in use to begin with to lower my carbon footprint! At least it would be in good use for the times I was lazy and left my machine on since its never impacted any of my work while I was actually using my machine! I have ran Digsby while I edited full HD video and Standard Definition for my clients and have not seen a problem even with the offer to use my machine for research enabled. And most of the comments I have seen says they didn't even know it was there till Digsby itself said something.

    They made a solid program that is not bloat ware though I will confess the installer is a bit tricky on all the partner apps it could include such as browser bars and such which I decline to use. But regardless it runs better than all of the stand alone clients i have used over the years (aol, msn, yahoo, etc..), and does far more than any of those ever could or even dream to. I think a more fair review and article on their efforts is in order instead of raising a red flag, over exaggerating, and trying to bash them since its obvious companies that pay for ads on crappy products on PC review sites clearly have more of a benefit of a doubt in their "deceptive" practices than others who are more into innovations in the way we communicate and use the most of our tech.

    If you want to talk about bad software doing deceptive things, I remember Limewire frying two of my hard drives setting me back over $300 when it launched years ago even when it wasn't in use and all the spyware it contained. Only after they raised capitol and investors did they take all that crap out but I will never use it ever again while damn near 3 out of 4 people I meet think its the greatest thing on this planet.

  • Trustless

    So I post a comment that reiterates things others have said about bundled software and forced automatic updates, but I add the bit about your credentials being held by Digsby on it's servers (notice you have to log into 'Digsby' before you log into the actual IM services) and my comment is deleted. No response saying 'that's not true', just deleted.

    Interesting. Very interesting.

  • Digsby

    @Trustless The only comments we ever delete are spam. There are many comments here so I'm sorry your comment didn't show up. You are always free to speak your mind here in the comments. The reason we ask that you make a Digsby account is to synchronize any changes you may make on different computers. We don't have access to your login credentials, so if you forget a password to one the accounts you manage with Digsby we cannot recover that password. Once you remove an account from Digsby (Preferences > Accounts > Remove ) it is removed from our servers as well.

  • may

    dd

  • option 1 is ONLY acceptable when the DEFAULT selection prevents installation of code unrelated to essential functioning of Digsby!

    You
    MUST
    require
    double opt-in
    to maintain
    any
    shred of credibility

    (default "no state" is not sufficient as malware authors typically phrase negative questions to trick users into installing malicious/unwanted code)

  • Blueknight1st

    Well no wonder they don't allow you to disable the automatic updates. That way they can sneak all kinds of spyware and shitware onto your computer. Fuck Digsby.

  • missingNo

    I haven't heard of Digsby until now. What is this, some shittier version of Pidgin?

  • Suggestions

    Since the last update random Twitter and Myspace feed problems authentication errors.

    Would like an xFire protocol, Skype support, IRC channel support... among other things.

  • ramen

    Please change the option to Enable / Disable from a button to a radio-button. Right now it says "Disable" for me, but I am not sure if it Enabled / Disabled. Not at all intuitive.

  • Digsby

    @ramen If the research module is enabled the button should say "disable", asking you if you want to disable the research module. If the research module is disabled the button should say "Enable", asking you if you want to enable the research module.

  • rogue leader

    A suggestion for the messenger portion of Digsby. Have a option that limits what screen name sends to certain people on your list. It's rather annoying when I accidentally send something from the wrong name especially at work where I'd rather people not know my personal AIM. If it's not on that screen name's buddy list it shouldn't send from it without a prompt.

  • Riza

    I would be willing to pay for a "pro" version without any of the revenue stuff in it. However, I would only want to pay a one time fee and not have to deal with a subscription. If you decide not to offer a paid version, then please make the research module opt-in by default.

  • tygrr

    I didn't know about the research thing either. I'm all for grid computing, but it should be an obvious opt in on install. I use this app at work, guys! Also, I would like to know exactly what research I'm contributing to. Something like distributed.net or folding, cool. Something like seti, lame.

  • Fox

    I'd be happy to pay a small fee but using my pc for distributed computing without my implicit consent isn't acceptable. No other client i've ever used has tried to achieve this. But until I either feel I can trust the digsby team again I will take the slightly less pretty but more transparent route of pidgin. Whilst I wish Digsby the best in their business I don't think IM client revenues are ever going to be big. Heres hoping something happens IE a paid version which is totally clean is released or a version without bloatware such as google search (I have a browser), Real time web search (!) and reasearch module (for which we havent got a clue what you research and if its ethical for you to charge for said research) I will not use digsby again..

    However I'd like to ponder a single question. Since Digsby stores logins remotely. Is there a way a user can request that their data and logins are removed from your system. So those who do not support your direction can leave without their details rouged on a server.

  • Digsby

    @Fox We currently don't have a mechanism to delete accounts but are working on one right now. In the mean time, if you log in to Digsby and remove your accounts from preferences, that removes data associated with your account.

  • @nono slayer

    that sounds like a bug with saving preferences (try changing a different pref and see if it saves) - you should submit a bug report.

  • I fully support a free ad-supported and no-ads,no research module version that costs money. I will buy a copy of Digsby that comes without the garbage.

  • nono slayer

    It's our own fault that we didn't read the TOS to know about the research module. Digsby already wrote them there and we just skipped the TOS and agreed.
    BUT !
    As other says, it's really really sneaky method, by making the research thing not obvious. After reading the Lifehacker article, I disabled the research module. On the next day, Digsby installed the update as the response from that article. I run the Digsby, and found out that the Research module was enabled again, whoa. Then on Saturday, I turned off the computer before going home, and turned it on again in monday morning. And guess what, the research module was enabled again !

    This is really really annoying, and we also basically don't know what it is computing. Is it using our equipment to compute something which is against our belief, our country, or anything ?

    I'm using the digsby in the computer in the lab my university..That means, Digsby is silently using the computer university to do research of not my university. Maybe, the university is going to sue Digsby.

    Anyway, my favourite quote from Alias TV Series about Digsby : "Legally, he's right. Ethically, he's an ass"

  • Harsh

    1. You could add search engine by joining hands with the developer who want to grab the market share.

    2. I dont mind if there is little space for advertisement, which will contribute to your income generation.
    And do add a chat room where all digsby users can chat where in u can put the advertisiment.

  • Steve, Dev's, Keep up the good work. I found out about the research module when I first signed up for Digsby. And other than the choice of storage servers for the installer, I/We have had no problems.

    When you relaized that there was an issue with disclosure/transparancy you took care of it as you have with all issues that have come up and you all have NEVER hidden anything.

    I'll still be an alpha tester on the main machine and a user on my laptop.

    Keep up the good work. And thanks.
    Mac

  • Smita

    Hey I didnt know abt the Research module. Its a great idea.Although somewhat bad for people who have limited downloads available per month.
    I think keeping both options 1 and 2 is great simultaneously since it will give you people more revenue so that you can keep up the good work :). Also it will keep Digsby free ;)
    You people rock
    Please add Orkut in Social networking and rediffmail and in.com in IM plzz

    Digsby Rocks!!!

  • It is gread idea, i agree with that..

  • Seffyroff

    Option 2 absolutely. I paid for Trillian Pro and will happily pay for Digsby without the crapware installer/research module.

    I'm still quite comfortable paying for quality software. Digsby is already the best IM client in Windows. Let us give you money for it fair and square. I don't need to be tricked into paying you for your hard work. I think some folk out there are more willing than you give us credit for ;)

    Perhaps offer Option 1 + Option 2 to opt out of Option 1?

  • Niles

    I didn't know about the research module, and I am pretty savvy about apps and monetization schemes surrounding them. That said, I don't think it was an intention to hide this information and personally, I think that the research model is a brilliantly unobtrusive way to generate revenue; so much so you should call it out as a feature. I especially like how you have taken steps to ensure it doesn't interfere with your user's daily activities. Don't pay attention to the griefers who don't understand what you are doing or how it works (easier said than done considering they do make up a portion of your install base).

    Keep up the good work.

  • DavidK.

    A few options:

    I don't mind paying a reasonable price for good software (I'd pay $40 one-time or $15/yr for Digsby).

    You can always beg. Put one of those "we are raising X dollars" thermometers with "donate now" button.

  • Tim

    Oh and apologies for the double post, but to the users who are genuinely mad at Digsby: Get over yourselves. This is a FREE product, and as everyone knows, there's no such thing as a free lunch.
    As for "I didn't read the TOS... but neither does anybody else". That is the biggest load of ^%$& I've heard. I will admit I rarely read the TOS for software, but if a program started doing something I didn't know about, but said action was mentioned in the TOS, it's MY FAULT for not reading. Don't moan about how they're being sleazy and underhanded... they did tell you about it - you just chose to skip by the document that told you about it.

  • Tim

    Attn: Digsby Employees

    Thanks for an excellent product. I've been truly impressed by the usability and functionality. That said, I was somewhat disappointed when I heard about the somewhat 'disguised' research module.
    That said, due to your prompt response (Digsby will show a popup notification telling you about the module...), I am keeping Digsby installed on my computer.
    That said, I would be interested in seeing what exactly my computer's idle cycles are doing while I'm away.

    Thank you for your sincere attempt at reconciliation and transparency. I wish this issue had been addressed before it became a front page kind of problem, but it is nevertheless addressed now, so thank you.

    Final note; I would consider paying for a version of Digsby, but I definitely prefer the non-intrusive research style of revenue making than anything I've seen so far. Thanks again!

  • Per Edman

    There's a lot of people around who need to start reading what they're signing rather than venting after the fact.

  • Justin

    I would gladly support Digsby by sitting through ads during installation and enabling the research module... if only you made a client for Linux ;-) (Mac users probably feel the same way). Been waiting over a year now, even an alpha version would be nice. Still running Digsby on Windows at work though.

  • NA

    Stop spamming me every time I open Digsby

  • Option 1 for me. I like it free, and I like you getting paid. No worries here.

    But I'd like to 'second' the search bar idea... It would add functionality that I would use, and if the providers would pay you to use their name, I say go for it. Like the vast majority of the world, I prefer google, but if Yahoo would pay to make their name an option, or the default search, I'd go for it!

  • Lindsay M

    I am a huge fan of Digsby! When I found the program I was desperately searching for a program that would simplify my over-usernamed-and-passworded life. Disby has provided me with a simple, easy to use "dashboard" to keep me from spinning out of control.

    With all the help Disby has done for my life, of course I want to help Disby! Unlike other installation programs, the choice to ignore the advertising options is a lot more evident. You can use all the CPU you want when my laptop is idle and charging- heck I'm harming the environment anyway I might as well put my laptop to good use.

    What I find irritating is the updates at the beginning of the program. I wish the program would update when I go to close the it, rather then when I open it. I wouldn't even mind having an ad displayed then- you will already have made my day, so looking at one ad wouldn't annoy me a bit.

    I also wouldn't mind being given the option of enrolling in a "support disby" account upon install (or anytime) to "donate" $1 a month or $12 at once for a year for every month/year that I use the program. I think almost anyone who can afford to pay for internet can afford $1 a month donation to a company that provides such an amazing program. I don't know if that's a viable option for the number of users, but it's not a bad start.

    I'm trilled with the program as it is and I look forward to see what changes will come next. Disby has built a online community of support for and from its users, not just an application- that is rare in today's online society.

    Oh, and I've been reading your comments. You don't need to apologize, because I don't think your users need or deserve one. You tell your users more than any other application does as it is. I don't even want to know the damage other instant message applications do to my computer.

    Thanks for a great application!

  • Digsby

    @Lindsay M Thanks. We're working on allowing you to login before Digsby updates.

  • Ashish

    Digsby Guys, you rock. You're actually taking technology forward by popularizing the whole grid-computing stuff. This is a great initiative and an innovative revenue model. This way things can be free, and free of ads, plus my computer power doesn't go waste either.

    Guys, keep on rocking. However, I think that there was a lack of communication that you people should have addressed before.

    Anyway, I would like to have the research module enabled on my comp. As for the crapware thingy, I don't even know what it is, I downloaded the portable version and it works fine for me.

  • Digsby

    @Ashish There was definitely a lack of communication on our part.

  • Li

    I was unaware of the research module as well, but I like the idea. I just checked my Digsby and found it already enabled. I'll keep it that way.

  • kgh

    Digsby installs death panels by default! And you can't opt-out! Digsby will "Youthenize America!"

  • Wes

    I don't understand how you consider yourself a 'company'. Your IM client is nice, but that's all you do, make an IM client. It's a quaint little web app and it should be free, like Adium (you even took portions of Adium for your own use). Now all of the sudden there's adware in the installer, and there's this hidden CPU module that no one would notice until it broke on a major website.

    Go back to making digsby a hobby and get a real source of revenue. Charge $5 for a pro version if you have to, but that just means that a LARGE chunk of your user base will just use the just-as-functional other FREE and OPEN SOURCE clients out there.

  • I find it funny, how everybody is suddenly offended by this incredibly "evil" use of their cpu cycles for commercial purposes.

    Come on, you are using quite possibly the best IM client on the market free of charge. But you have to learn that nothing is "free" in this modern capitalist world. Digsby is being actively developed and those software people behind their 20" LCDs need to be rewarded somehow. If you are not willing to give them money straight away, you have to give them something else. Whether it is your CPU cycles or your ignorance while installing Digsby.

    That was few words for those complaining people. Now for Digsby developers. You learned your lesson. What you did may have been kind of a shadow play, but I guess you will make sure next time, you're implementing stuff like grid computing.

    Now to the advertising options.

    You can use my idle CPU, you can offer me all the software you want during the install, you can even sometimes send me ads through some messaging channels.
    On the other hand, do not make the chat window bigger and less intuitive by puting ads in it. The same goes for the buddy list.
    And please, do not make free/premium versions.

    Hmm, I guess I just like it the way it is right now. :)

  • Just charge for it. I'd pay $20/yr for bloat-free Digsby with all it does for me. I'm sure others would too.

  • kgh

    People, please understand the issue before running around, shrieking like your hair is on fire. The installer crapware is completely optional, and since you are on this blog, you know how to turn off the cpu-utilizer.

    If you are offended by opt-in-by-default crapware installers (as I am), then that's one thing, but don't act like you don't have an option.

    That said, I'd say you might want to revise your claim that the cpu-utilizer "would have absolutely no effect on your computer’s performance and only uses processing power while your computer is not being used," is not true. It might have very little effect, or even an unoticable/negligible effect, but that is not the same as "absolutely no effect."

  • I would pay for Digsby

  • Jennifer

    Ive used Digsby for a while. I really liked it. What I do NOT really like is the bloatware and this backhanded research module going on. Its pretty disgusting that your money making model is based on capitalization of peoples ignorance. Of course, Im not not saying anything someone else hasnt said 10 times already.

    I switched to Pidgin. Its not as pretty, but it does what I need out of an IM/social media client, its free, and it doesnt zombiefy my computer just because I walked away.

    I havent written you off totally Digsby, but you need to get your act together and turn your transparency up to 11. Then I will reconsider you as a viable software choice.

  • I like the grid computing model. My notebook at work is on all evening and could be used for beneficial purposes but the important word is beneficial. It would be possible for you to allow research that I have a moral conflict with. What is the nature of the research that is being performed on my computer? If you are using my CPU I believe it would be reciprocal to allow me to know what it is computing.

  • x-15a2

    I asked this before (above) and received not answer, will try again, would really like answer:

    When Digsby is uninstalled, is all of the revenue generating software also uninstalled? Does the GRID program run even if Digsby is not running?

  • Digsby

    @X-15a2 When you uninstall Digsby, it removes it as well.

  • Czadd

    I understand the outrage expressed in the Lifehacker article, but I don't agree with the reason behind it. The only mistake made here was not informing us users up front. Please keep me informed and let me decide how to use my CPU cycles and I'll be happy as a clam.

    I must admit, though, the fact that Digsby may be browsing websites during my idle time concerns me. Because I don't know about the technology I don't know whether your background activities could infect me with a virus.

    Thanks for a great free product and keep up the good work.

  • If I had the option to select one or more projects from a list and donate my unused CPU and bandwidth (I am assuming that data is sent and received!) I think the grid computing option would be acceptable.

    As I can't see what my CPU cycles are being used *for*, this is option = off for me.

  • Warning

    Attention!!! digsby uses your pc to make money, read here:

    http://lifehacker.com/5336382/...

  • Hi Guys,

    I love Digsby and I don't understand the bitching about the research module above (your behaviour is tracked all over the web anyway). I think this is one of the most conscientiously implemented revenue models for an IM client and I hope you can make it work going forward!

    S

  • razil

    i like twitter so much, i am planing to join it

  • What is the Research Module researching, exactly?

  • SAVN

    Hey guys,
    Awesome IM client. Really like the research option. One thing that I think would make that even better is some form of display that could be accessed from the menus to show details about the research. What is being researched, how much has been contributed by my pc. Some geeky stats like that would be awesome. Would also make a slightly paranoid user like me a little happier to have it running in the background if I could access stats and info on what it is doing. A cool graph like Seti@home thrown into the mix would also add to the experience.

    Keep up the awesome work.

  • Bill Collins

    When I found out from the Lifehacker article about my CPU being used for "research", (or whatever people pay you to do) I almost uninstalled Digsby there and then, but only kept it because it is such a useful program.

    I dont mind helping fund digsby with things like this, but you must clearly tell users about them (putting them in the TOS that no one ever reads doesnt count, they should be in the installer or install notes popup). Trying to sneak in things hidden features makes people angry.

  • Erik Kristensen

    I want to delete my account at digsby's servers. Is it possible at all?

  • Erik Kristensen

    Thats it, I'm uninstalling digsby.

  • Give us ads at the install. Calculations on my machine while it's idle is fine but I smell potential botnet takeover.
    Digsby is great. Keep up the great work and keep up the honesty and transparency. Best policy by far.

  • rana omair

    Its a wonderful, but i love the one thing which was on previous version i mean before updates.
    that was while we click on the top of chat window, it collapse, and on again click it open again, but in new updates that vanished.
    please give that back thanks,
    OMAIR.

  • terry

    Ads on the client itself would be terrible, I'd quit using Digsby in a heartbeat; Digsby being ad-free is probably my favorite thing about it. However, I don't care at all about ads in the installer, especially since a considerable amount of other great free programs do this too.

    You could consider having a donate button on the Digsby homepage.

    And oh please nonono at an ad free version you have to pay for. It's a lot harder for me to recommend(or use) something if you have to pay for the best version that was free in the first place.

  • Saleem

    I think you can do both options as long as you are completely transparent. Keep the optional stuff int the installer and add an announcement about the research module. Obviously users should have the option to disable this directly from the installer as well as from the reg menu once the digsby is installed.

  • Fida Hussain

    Its a wounderful facility I must say.

  • tad williamson

    I have dial up internet on my computer as there is no affordable high speed in my area. when I installed digsbe there was no research option and some time during a update it was added and I have spent 2 month trying to figure out why my computer was auto-dialing out when we are not home or in the middle of the night. even the local computer geek at best buy was unable to fix it and he even sold me windows vista. trying to get rid of what he thought was a virus.
    it turns out that when the research program tries to activate it triggers IE to auto-dial a new connection.
    it would be nice to no this in the TOS.
    and if you would give the option during update or install to disable it as it is a expensive inconvenience.
    in an other wise great product.
    the blog posting is appreciated and I am glad you can disable the research component.
    thank you

  • Shelly

    This is a general comment, but it seems like the latest version of Trillian supports Skype. Considering switching? I might be.

  • Anon

    Thanks for the thoughtful post explaining your position.

    While I admit I was a little surprised to hear about the research client, I don't really understand the big deal myself.

    Software costs money to develop (a LARGE sum of money), which appears to be something a lot of people take for granted.

    Coding it a time consuming and thankless job at the best of times.

    I've enjoyed using Digsby immensely and applaud your efforts to try and find alternative revenue sources that are less obtrusive to your users.

    So long as you work towards making these ideas transparent in the future, I don't really see the issue.

    Keep up the great work guys!

  • I,love digsby becous it show my all my emails and my difrint website

  • I like the idea of using over-caps for distributed research. It's a very unintrusive and smart way of making money.

    I'd also prefer paying a yearly fee over an ad-infested client :-) Plus I really dig the fact that you're talking openly about your revenue plans. Keep up the good work, keep the spyware out!

  • Brian

    Another Option

    Digsby propaganda (like T-shirts, mugs, i don know even sunglasses) probably that would help too.
    Thanks digsby!

  • Brian

    Digsby Rocks!!
    I dont mind to see the addware in the installer.
    and the research module is a cool thing.
    If both things are needed to keep it free... shall be it.
    Keep on the good work!!!

  • Mark

    I just wanted to say, I really appreciate Digsby being free and not being covered in adverts when using it. However, because I don't know what the research module is doing (in particular, crawling random, possibly illegal websites), I have to leave it disabled.

    If you presented a dialog whenever the current project changed, explaining what it was and who it was for with the option for whether I wanted to participate, I could happily leave it turned on. I'm happy to do science/medical research/SETI at home type stuff, I'm not interested in web crawling. Others may have objections to stem cell research etc (even if I don't), so it's important to give people a choice. For example:

    The current research project is: Protein Folding for Cancer Research.
    The Research is for: (Company) Marie Curie Cancer Research
    It will require: x MB of downloads a month and y KB of uploads a month.

    [Always Decline] [Always Decline for this Company] [Decline]
    [Participate] [Always Participate for this Company] [Always Participate]

    Alternatively, if there are several projects on the go, just present a list with suitable columns and let people tick which ones they're willing to help.

  • As much as I do not mind you using my power when I am not (my employer might be a little more upset as you are also using their bandwidth) you need to come up with a better definition for not using my machine.

    Not using my keyboard/mouse does not mean I am not using my machine. I spend at least 4 hours a day on VoIP in web conferences. I am talking through my machine not writing or moving the mouse.

    How about poping up a notification (like an email notification) when you are using my machine. It can then disappear when you have finished. Then I I can stop you if I am using my machine hands off?

    I think that you need to also deliver a report so that I can see how often you have leveraged my machine. Stating start time/date, ending time/date and CPU usage during that period.

    If you did this I would let you continue - but watch out for my employee.

    2.

  • cpottinger

    Option 2 is resounding N!O!
    If I wanted that kind of crap in an IM I would use MSN.

    I don't see what the fuss about the adware is - the installer makes it pretty clear what it is doing and how to opt out.

    As for the research - I knew about it long ago (I didn't read the terms, but I do check out all menu options on anything I install).

    I would suggest, though, that you give thought to allowing the users to see what research is being done and opt/in or out of particular calculations. I turned off the research only because I can't tell if my computer is being used to find a cure for cancer (good) or to write a script for an Adam Sandler move (evil).

  • ninjawu

    good software!!

  • Petra

    Well this is the first time I have heard about this. Maybe if I had read Lifehacker's post first fear would have snuck in, but that would have been out of ignorance, and not being aware that the CPU usage was minimal and not reading data on my computer. Honestly I am not sure what all the fuss is about. Thanks for full disclosure Digsby. I realise you guys are human, and cannot please all the people all the time.

    I am going to vote for other, not because I don't like the first 2 options, but because I want you to do what is best for your company and nothing you have done so far as made me fear using your app. I don't mind ads, I don't mind paying. I think my least favourite option is the data research thingy, but I am not really unhappy about it.

    I love Digsby, and think you should make good money for creating and developing it. I want it to get better and I want you to reap the rewards for doing so.

  • Now lifehacker is "suing" Digsby for "Bundles crapware and use our computer to crawl the web" at the AllRise court - http://bit.ly/AllRise238

  • Hi

    How about making a widget/marketplace system like Android/iPhone (and the vista/yahoo/google sidebar)? Allow 3rd parties to create services and you can offer/charge them for promotions (in the marketplace) while improving the digsby client with more features! That's a win-win-win!! Maybe there's already some "open" widget system out-there, which you can hook onto - and tomorrow you can offer your users 1000nds of new widgets and have 100rds of new clients to offer stuff they can pay for... Thinking about it - the Android Marked apps are pure java (I think) - why not adding support for those (too baad if they need accelerometers, gps etc.) - as a creator of widgets it's really nice if you can avoid too many changes when supporting a new platform....

    cheers

    ./ask

    ps. Gimme som credits if you like the idea - thanx :)
    pps. Really cool with your "open-user dialog"-thing you've got going - that's really cool

  • Lifehacker VS. Digsby - The public trial is now opened at AllRise.com community court. Join in to influence the verdict http://bit.ly/AllRise238

  • HeavyDreamer

    I forgot to insert image: http://img2.pict.com/12/4b/1e/...

  • HeavyDreamer

    I have pinned Digsby on Windows 7 taskbar. When i start Digsby there are 2 icons in taskbar. I have never noticed that behavior on other applications. Maybe it uses different name so Windows recognize it as a different process. Please fix that.

  • Anon

    (begin QUOTE)
    Anon Said,

    August 15, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    To all you people who are saying how upset you are, and how much you hate that they did this to you, YOU ARE RETARDED. They posted where it was appropriate to inform you of the changes. YOU ARE RETARDED if you are offended for not checking that out. It is low priority and only runs when idle = YOU WONT EVER FUCKING NOTICE IT, which makes your complaints RETARDED. Let this be a lesson for you people, stop being ignorant and read update notes, understand whats going around you, and don’t freak out on other people because you are too stupid to inform yourself in a timely manner.

    (end QUOTE)

    BUMP!!

    Would you like a bit of cheese with that whine??

    ...a lil CPU speed when your PC is idle... OMG! IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!!

    Digsby is a great product that is essentially free. Why don't you go to your cell phone provider, ask for free service but tell them you'll check some "opt out" boxes in return, and see what they say?

    Whiners like you make me sick... wAH wAH wAH! you know what, you don't deserve to use Digsby... uninstall it immediately and go back to running 5 different applications and like 5 more windows, you ungrateful whiners.

    i'm done

  • Paul

    Unfortunately, you are the best IM client around. After I uninstalled Digsby last week (I found out about it from a link on Reddit) I retried Astra Trillian, Pidgin, Meebo, Meebone, Palringo, and Miranda; and you were still the best.

    The thing that infuriated me the most was the way you did not list the change in the changelog. This is not cool. Ever. I should not have to read your blog in order to see what changes you add. That is what a changelog is about. I am one of the people who does actually read the TOS, sometimes, but I am not going to reread it after I have agreed to it.

    The TOS is always worthless to the end user anyway. "We are not liable for any problems this program causes you. You are not allowed to do anything with this program except what we expressly tell you you can do with it. We reserve the right to change this TOS, if our lawyers advise us to do so." This is what every TOS that has ever been written says. Why you need more than 150 words to express this, I will never know.

    There are two reasons I can imagine for not putting the change in the changelog: 1. You knew people may balk and decided to be sneaky and underhanded. 2. Whoever is in charge of the changelog is grossly incompetent. If you think everyone reads an inane blog to find out every change that is coming to your software, then I believe you are mistaken.

    I have two reasons for reinstalling this software: 1. It really is the best IM client there is. Hands down. 2. You did mention the research thing in your blog. I do not mind an opt out thing, if you notify that it is there. This may get more people to use it.

    I would like an explanation why you put it under 'Help', then name the header 'Support Digsby'. I need no help running an IM client, and 'Support Digsby' makes me think of donating money via Paypal, or something like that, not disabling something that no one told me was being turned on in the first place.

    There is no client that is as close to being as good as Digsby, and for that you should be commended, but there are some programs that are ok.

    I think option 2 is probably the best way to go for the install. Place a small ad at the bottom of every window, and give the option to pay to remove it. I would also buy a cellphone app. Not everyone has an iPhone, so something that was Java based ,WinMo, Android, iPhone, or S60 3rd.

  • Tajul Islam Munna

    I love digsby. And i don't think that this "cpuusage" won't make any problem to my works. I have enabled it and digsby is using my cpu memory after 5minutes of idle time. This is a better system and i am not facing any problem at all. I just love this........

    Just one problem. My Yahoo! account is not working on digsby. An error shows that, "You are signing in too often." Can anyone say me how i can fix it???

  • Stuart Mason Dambrot

    Option 3:

    - white box (rebrandable) commercial versions (desktop, mobile)
    - pass-through revenue from (adding) Skype
    - multiuser corporate version

  • Asmodeus

    First, I love Digsby and everything that you have done with it. Second, you're probably sick of people saying that you shouldn't have put the Research module in the program, so I won't say anything. Opening up Digsby to ads and the like would deter users from using Digsby. However, the idea of making a Free version of Digsby with ads embedded would be okay, but only if you were to release a Pro version with no ads. This you could charge at one flat fee, no one likes monthly fees. People who are not willing to pay will be upset, but you can't make everyone happy. Having a donation box is always a chance to make a few dollars. Just try not to really push on that. Maybe an announcement every 3 months. You don't want the user to feel like you're pressuring them to donate.

    When it comes down to it, you have a lot of support from your community. Whatever you decide, you will have loyal users supporting what you do.

  • I have to say that I knew about all these features in digsby and even if I didn't and just found out about it, I would still use it.

    It saddens me to think that the average person on the net doesn't know how to do some research about anything out there. I am not flaming, just stating that most users of the net are blatantly naive.

    1. Offer others sites ways of advertising there site. I run a gaming community and I also and looking for ways of brining in revenue and advertisement hits. I personally would be interest in some form of advertisement from you guys, I have to admit though, we are strapped for cash also.

    1-A. A ticker at the top of digsby would be small yet might be effective for small advertisement.

    2. Maybe links that show up during LENGTHY IM convos would be interested, tho how you would code that I am not sure. I state LENTHY. More then maybe 200 lines? ...hmm..maybe 500? Something not so annoying but also not so spaced out where nothing happens... BUT IF YOU DO THIS PLEASE MAKE IT OPTIONAL ASWELL AND IF IT IS ON MAKE SURE IT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE AN IM. No one likes clicking a link when it wasn't even from there friend or family KNOWING (as there browser loads or what not) they are gonna close it right away.

    I like free, I like the optional things, I personally have pretty much everything off, but for facebook or anything like that, I am on it. I turned the research module off since I am in a bionic team so it interferes.

    Please keep it free....but i have an idea....for a premium.....

    THis would take alot of work I would assume buuuuuut....

    Xfire......digsby style....No! I don't mean them actually! I mean make digsby LIKE xfire.....as it is pops through full screen games! You would have so many gamers getting that...i would DEF. buy it and i would advertise the hell out of it for you guys! I would LOVE that...but maybe copyright infringement might be an issue? I am not to sure since I am not that far into business with myself.

    There is my 2 cents. I hope it helps.

    To all those that complain.

    You have no idea how many programs that have things in secret in them...If ANY of you that have complained about ANYTHING about digsby....and you have AVG installed for an anti virus....Go shove your head in the toilet. THAT antivirus CREATES viruses so that YOU THINK it is working... They are called false positives.

    Not to mention it also has been known to DELETE random files in windows that windows ABSOLUTELY needs to run.

    Reason why i bring that up, is that most likely all of you that have complained, probably have that installed, since FREE is the way it seems with those like you guys, AVG is more like HELL to me... I can name 3 other free ones that work better then it anyways.

    Free, or paid, I will not be ending my usage of digsby for anything else less then it, I am here to stay, and I am glad you guys did allow things to be turned off.

    I commend the work you guys are doing, though I must ask of one thing

    ALLOW ME TO MAKE PERSONAL ALERTS FOR SPECIFIC PPL! Aim allows it, I just want to play a wav file when "John Doe" comes only or back from away or something! I need it so badly!.

    Thank you for reading thus far.

  • Teddy Rogers

    Make it open-source then let the community develop Digsby.

    If I am to be plagued by ads like in other messengers then I will simply go back to using Pidgin. No ads is one of the reasons why I chose to use Digsby so if you introduce the ads your taking away my reason for using it.

    Anyway... I always thought Digsby was a school project so why start looking at ways of profiteering from it? :P

  • Djeek

    Option 3: Maybe you can change the name Digsby to Viagra and make some money out of that!

    If you honestly believe I can trust an IM that use these sort of tactics (obscure item in EULA, unavoidable toolbars, ...) you are sorely mistaken.

    Thanks lifehacker!

  • Patrick

    So long as you dont force any software installation on my computer (ie toolbars, 3rd party apps etc) i dont care what you do so long as you dont get in my way or interfere with my computing.

    I think you should consider making a digsby app for the iphone and charging for that, perhaps put up a paypal donation button for the desktop version.

    The fact of the matter is that its hard to compete with free alternatives unless you provide something they dont. I think the distributed computing deal is a pretty clever way of getting revenue, but your not giving people the choice of donating to you in a meaningful way. If you dont ask for something, youll never get it. If you ask, you at least have a chance.

  • Kyzzyxx

    I will be disabling it until I at least know exactly what it is you want my computers to be doing.

  • Contrarienne

    I've been using Digsby for a long time, but was appalled when I encountered that InstallQ installer or whatever that 3rd party spyware company is called. I didn't finish the installation with it and then found that a clean installer existed. Your research was never enabled without my consent. I've had no problems, but I don't install obvious spyware under any circumstance. Trillian is in cahoots with Ask search, but I don't mind being asked (haha, punny) about things like that as long as it's clear and not sneaky. But Digsby is the superior client, in my opinion. It's flaw is the memory usage, even though it uses less than it used to. The other clients are just not as good, period. I love Digsby.

    I don't want ads. I don't like paying, but I would rather pay than look at ads or be marketed. Speaking of Trillian, Astra will require a one-time payment after trial usage. You could do something like that, but the truth is, your need for money is ongoing. Donations would be a great idea if people (and you at Digsby) would understand that every dollar counts. If many people gave a dollar from time to time, you would have continuing income. Or maybe you could try a combination of the two, making the price low - like $10 and welcoming donations.

  • Naphtali14

    I like they way you've always done it with just adds in the installer. All the media sites that are giving you crap should be punished because as is obvious from the poll people like the way you've been doing it.

  • Dan

    i say keep option 1, BUT, ditch the installer. use a conventional installer that doesn't require any downloading and has normal checkboxes for denying/approving bundles offers.

    the current installer in use is very tricky, and tasteless.

  • Carolyn

    I knew about the research grid the whole time, and just turned it off. If you ever wanted to know what was in the updates, you just had to follow the link to the blog... wasn't hard, and it was explained perfectly. I think the research grid is an awesome idea, and plus it's optional! I would hate advertisements on Digsby though, put a million in the install, I wouldn't care as long as there is a clear accept/decline as there is now, but I hate im clients that have annoying flash ads. I recently downloaded the newest version of aim and immediately regretted it, as it installed a bunch of other aol crapola along with it. I think they're doing a great job though, so I trust they'll keep up the good work!

  • Charles

    I don't know why you all are Bitching about it! Damn. It doesn't bother me at all! I use the Program. No problem and Ads are Ads! It won't Kill you! You have to remember the People making these Programs need to get Paid and Make Money somehow to make it a lot better for us!! I'd prefer to have Ads and have all the Features instead of having to pay for a Pro Version of it! I love Digsby. It's an Amazing Program! Keep it as it is and get more Features! No one realized the things Companies have to do. Yahoo, Aim, Msn and so forth puts Advertisements even Social Networking Sites! It's to keep things Free!! :) and I Appreciate it! and I wouldn't mind Advertisement in the Installation or on the Program somewhere, just as long as it's Good and Free :)

  • Kenbitph

    I'll support your research digsby this time but please inform me or try to ask me if I'm willing to participate on your research. btw I'll always support your product and your research except when there's a conflict in my daily priorities/responsibilities.

  • Scott

    Just wanted to say that I have never used Digsby..but I read the Lifehacker article in disgust. Shame on them for attacking you like this....like there is ANY freeware app out there that doesnt employ similar tactics. All the Lifehacker article did (in my case) is bring a new app to try to my attention. As soon as I get off work, I plan on giving it a try.

  • i like that 2nd one... i like your idea of grid computing .. that is much better than first one .. and i think that is more profitable for you ..

  • BLueSS

    WHATEVER you do, hiding it in a sneaky menu and auto-enabling it is a HORRIBLE way of going about it.

    Be upfront about how you are trying to make money; don't sneak a backdoor in.

  • Digsby

    @BLueSS We'll be implementing changes to make the options more visible to the user when they install Digsby

  • Chris

    For a business model - Digsby is very useful in the office for linking a company together and with clients or branches.

    Why not charge for business use, or a business edition?

  • Anon

    To all you people who are saying how upset you are, and how much you hate that they did this to you, YOU ARE RETARDED. They posted where it was appropriate to inform you of the changes. YOU ARE RETARDED if you are offended for not checking that out. It is low priority and only runs when idle = YOU WONT EVER FUCKING NOTICE IT, which makes your complaints RETARDED. Let this be a lesson for you people, stop being ignorant and read update notes, understand whats going around you, and don't freak out on other people because you are too stupid to inform yourself in a timely manner.

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