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TinyURL Adds Custom URLs; Is This Exciting or What?
There’s been a few exciting things I remember as a kid growing up including: when Hogan slammed Andre, getting my first GameBoy and working at the transit museum. But those totally pale in comparison to the announcment made this morning that TinyURL now supports custom URLs.
It’s all the talk this morning! Louis Gray was able to take a 2-line announcement and turn it into a full product review. Louis points to a post by Steve Gillmor – unfortunately my GilmorDecoder hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t comment on that post.
Gray is clearly mislead, it’s probably because he ate too many brats last night. He notes, "You typically had to trust the person or service sending the TinyURL, or preview it to be sure you weren’t being sent to a Rick Astley music video or a malware site."
And now, ladies and gents, here’s an example of why what he just wrote makes no sense :) – Here’s a TinyURL I just created – here, click this: http://tinyurl.com/seagate (don’t worry it’s not malware or Rick Astley). Now do you see why this isn’t going to protect you any better than before? In fact, it might be worse because now the evil people can use URLs that look like legit companies only to send you somewhere bad. I imagine the email scammers will love this new feature.
If TinyURL wanted to offer some new features that would be seriously beneficial, they could add account functionality to save created URLs into lists. They could also offer statistics which could lead to even more goodness as they could show hot and top links and create real content discovery. Perhaps TinyURL could offer a stumbleupon-style feature as well.
In all seriousness, this is a feature that everyone’s asked TinyURL to create but I don’t know if it’s really that important. It will make it easier for the linker but the same for the linkee. I certainly hope that TinyURL users don’t stop linking directly to Web sites and instead link to TinyURLs.
Most times, the TinyURL is behind the scenes and never heard from. Do you think you are really more likely to click a URL on Twitter if it says http://www.tinyurl.com/microsoft than http://www.tinyurl.com/4=*&25c35s? Doubt it. Trust the source, not the URL.
I use MooURL because it’s cuter and looks better.