A trimmed net
Published: Tuesday 2009-08-11.
Yesterday’s “big” news in the on-line papers was that the web address abbreviation service tr.im shut down. They say that they have not found a way to make money from redirecting addresses, and that Twitter’s choosing the competitor bit.ly made competing difficult.
The question is who will weep over the loss? Personally, I am getting very annoyed at these services. It started several years ago when the Swedish MikroDatorn magazine stopped publishing real web addresses in its paper edition, and instead gave addresses on the form mikrodatorn.se/a/number where “number” was an article number. Yes, they were easier to type and they could track the number of readers, but you never knew where you ended up, and when the magazine later was terminated (it has since apparently been re-establish) all the redirections disappeared, which suddenly made all the links in the articles useless.
tr.im have promised that its redirections will work to the end of this year, but from then on no one knows what will happen. And since most of the users of these abbreviation services have published the addresses in articles that do not change, for example in forum posts, Usenet articles or paper magazine, suddenly, and for no reason, there will be a lot of references that stop working.
If they had published the real address, this would not have been a problem. Of course, this requires the page to use real addresses that are possible to copy without stumbling over how many “.aspx?articleid=42&rendermode=4711&fullmoon=true” that need to be added to the end of the address, but it easy to do by the web operators, it is just that many are too lazy to do it.
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