Friday, August 14, 2009

URL Shorteners Try to Fight Dead Links

Following the shut down scare (Berman Post: Shuts Down, May Come to the Rescue and Berman Post: to Comes Back) and Digg redirect (Berman Post: Digg Redirects Shortened Links), URL shortners are trying to set up a system to protect against a major shut down and link rot. The explanation is below, but there is a major flaw that no one seems to be considering. Anyone that own "" domain also owns "". That means that even if some independent backup is created, the owner of the domain still has to agree to use it. They can at any time, as the Digg redirect showed, chose to redirect everyone of their links.

"With a vested interest in making sure that people can use short URLs confidently, many of the leading short URL providers have signed up for 301works, an independent URL mapping directory service (you can think of it like but for URL mapping). The venture will be managed by GNIP, Inc. The announcement reads:

Leading Internet software companies have joined together to launch an independent URL mapping directory service. The new service will allow all participating short URL providers the ability to make their mappings available as regular updates or as a historical archive through the directory. The service is planned to launch in the next few weeks after participating companies individually inform their respective user communities of their planned participation. Once launched the service will be available at and will be managed and run by Gnip, Inc. while the participating companies work to identify an appropriate non-profit organization to manage the directory long-term.

It is with these shared goals for improved permanence and transparency that Adjix,, betaworks,, Cligs, Gnip, URLizer, and urlShort have joined to launch this new organization.

In plain English: the URL shorteners want to establish some sense of permanence to the mappings they provide, making users more confident that their links won’t just break at some point in the future. It’s a good first step towards addressing concerns about the dangers of short URLs.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Like what you read; Subscribe/Fan/Follow