The curse of the short url.

Microblogging (Twitter, Friend Feed et al) has lifted the status of link shortening to new heights. They’re not new either, I remember friends putting together Make A Shorter Link which then got acquired by tinyurl.

Then it all went quiet for a while as we didn’t really need url shorteners as the majority of the time the resulting links were just put in normal webpages.  The reason their popularity wasn’t huge was the same problem I have with them now, acting as a gateway to another site without knowing where my destination is, well that’s bad.

So, do short urls have a shelf life? Are they time based or a done deal and will remain pointing to that link forever?  There’s nothing to stop one url becoming the link to something a little less savoury….

My other real concern is the way that some users going about publishing them, I know that says more about them than me.  If it’s from a trusted contact then I’ll more than likely have a look.  If there’s no strap line to tell me what I’m clicking on then I won’t touch it.  And, lastly, if it’s from a complete stranger I just move on.

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