The Lurker

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posted by ajf on 2007-11-21 at 07:35 pm

I've mentioned before that I should have created an I told you so category for my blog. It would contain posts like this one about losing one's "CRUCIAL data", a cautionary tale which I would politely refrain from belatedly forwarding to Phil Wilson, who has recently lost his blog and his email and his feed reader because he entrusted all those applications to the same big faceless company (albeit one with better quality products than most big faceless companies) which has no real incentive to get him out of the predicament he now finds himself in.

Twitter has made the same mistake on an even grander scale — trusting TinyURL to redirect to the links in Twitter messages. Allan Stern told them so about a month or so before TinyURL had a Big Ol' Chunk o' Downtime.

These so-called "URL shortening" services are absolutely trivial to implement. Twitter (which, since it sends out SMS messages containing links, is one of the few environments where "shortened" URLs are actually worth bothering with at all) could have rolled their own and protected their users from one source of failure that they are powerless to prevent. When the social networking bubble bursts people are going to regret the time they invested building up their "presence" on web sites that don't exist any more.

Related topics: Rants Web Mindless Link Propagation

All timestamps are Melbourne time.