Url Shorteners: Destroying the Web Since 2002

I thinks its a bit alarmist. The web was supposed to fall apart years ago.

There is also a great userscript http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/40582 for converting shortened URLs, it support far over 80 services.

@Rob TinyURL offers a preview service to check links before you visit them: http://tinyurl.com/preview.php

Somehow,

i should not be surprised that the king of “Keep It Short and Simple” has doen a complete u-turn and is spouting vitriol over the one service that does keep it short and simple.

however, i reluctantly have to agree. this shortening thing has added a complexity to our lives that was/is unnecessary. i agree, let shortening be the province and problem of search engines. that said, are we willing to live in a walled garden of our search engines? only today i realized that the search results google has been giving me are biased by the previous websites i have visited. that is soooo annoying becausse that way, i might never see what else is out there. especially since the option to set 100 search results was removed!!

there should be some sort of compromise. i think jeff was on to something there with the hyperlink idea. but before we all latch onto an idea, consider the repercussions. i hate being walled in.

We should probably keep in mind that a “shortened URL” is not truly a locator for what you really want to get to. It’s a link to some service that just happens to let you on through to somewhere else … with possibly other effects. A shortened URL and an “original” URL shouldn’t be regarded as synonymous.

In related news: a smaller short-url provider (Cligs) has been hacked and for a short time all the URL’s were redirecting to a single page (luckily it seems that the given page wasn’t malicious). http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2009/06/cligs.html

PS. I miss the orange captcha :slight_smile:

I never thought of url-shorteners this way. I think you’ve got a big point.
Cheers from Argentina.

you forgot qzip.in … public link tracking. just what we all need - for our friends to see the traffic stats from our links.

I think that tinyurl is good only to rickroll people, or to share www.name.surname.homo.com

Twitter can fix this, all they need to do is get the metadata out of the message. Metadata such as url, hashtags, gps location or who you @reply makes more sense as an additional field separate from the message.

Weird timing on this one. I’d been writing on this very topic but my view is very different: http://www.cforcoding.com/2009/06/hysteria-over-url-shortening.html

Twitter shortens my urls even if there is no need to shorten them. I would prefer to have my real url shown for branding purposes.

Jeff,
actually the twitter sayd that you joined not in 2006 but on 29th April 2007 :slight_smile:

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who would have thought the old alt+255 trick works with url shorteners? ^^

I’m not sick of the mainstream news coverage because I don’t watch TV. When you watch TV, the corporations win.

Apart from the SMS features of Twitter (which should be obsolete as soon as SMS becomes obsole due to push e-mail and… strangely enough Twitter itself) the technical data limit of Twitter should not be a reason to shorten urls.

Also, Twitter should be the one doing the shortening. If Twitter goes, so do the urls. Now, if shortening service X goes down, many Tweets becme broken (are old Tweets even worth saving/seeing).

Now the Twitter API should evolve. I think that #hashtag, @at and urls should be handled separately from the main message.

If I want to say something about Iran to somebody and provide a link, I could already be limited to ~110 characters. Now I generally have nothing interesting to say, but below 100 characters it will become even more difficult.

So, here’s the new Twitter interface:

well, maybe this URL un-shortening web service will come in handy to someone: http://therealurl.appspot.com/ (with JSON! and JSONP! ;))

@Angus: the rev=canonical has also its controversies [1]. It seems to be right on track side by side with Reply-To munging :-)…

It seems to have been removed from HTML5 [2]

[1] http://benramsey.com/archives/a-revcanonical-rebuttal/
[2] http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2006-July/006888.html

Has anybody tried making two posts on twitter? Or is that bad form?

I agree.

Also, while I agree that there is a big benefit to having twitter limit to 140 characters there’s a case that they would have been better off excluding URLs from the count. They are collecting immense amounts of links that people consider hot yet, Twitter has to do a lot of processing to get actual URLs.