Ask dotTechies: should I start a URL shortening service?

The question is simple: should I start a URL shortening service (i.e. like bit.ly or is.gd or tr.im or [insert one of the thousands of URL shortening services out there]? To be honest if I do end up doing it, my URL shortening service won’t be much different than all the other ones (in fact it will probably lack lots of development/extensible related features of commercial URL shorteners). I just think it would be cool to have one =).

So, what do fellow dotTechies say? Do you guys and gals think it’s a good idea? Would you use it if it goes live?

Update: All opinions are valid. So far it seems overall most people prefer me not to go with it so I probably won’t. Thanks everyone for their input.

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  • Mohammed Sarhan

    No You don’t need to do that
    I’m familiar with ur links
    It gives me an idea about the program you’re talking about
    (Freeware, GOTD, …… etc)

  • Muhammad

    NO is enough

  • Ashraf

    @Kev93: LOL!

  • Kev93

    I HATE ‘rickrolling’ services.

  • hahaguy

    URL shortening service?? One word…NO.

    Why? There are some users who misuse URL shortening services to ‘spread’ malicious links…hope you get what I mean…

    Cool?? Yes, it is BUT you are way cooler doing what you are GOOD at. Any cooler, just get ice for yourself…or go to Antartica…haha :)

  • Ashraf

    @Funkster: Good argument.

    @Adrian: I wish I could get cool URLs like that but internet squatters already took most of them =(.

    @Kraal FictionWriter: Another good point.

    @Harold: I still consider dotTech a hobby more than a business =).

    @JJSlider: You bring up another good point. If I did have one it wouldn’t really be much better than any other ones.

    @V.Hausmann: True. No real value is added overall except making me feel like I’m cool =P.

    @Ed: What does it have to do with my ego ?_?.

    @Everyone else: all opinions are valid. So far it seems overall most people prefer me not to go with it so I probably won’t. Thanks everyone for their input.

  • No. Forget it. Just use one of the existing ones. Sheesh, isn’t the Internet cluttered enough? Do what you do BEST, mate.

    Happy Dae·

  • Jon

    I see no need for it. Just carry on with the good work you’re currently doing here.

  • Ed

    Curb that ego; can’t see any advantage in the creation of something else for the pack. Use that creativity for something unique and useful.

  • V.Hausmann

    I do think Funkster has a valid point of view. If there is no good reason don’t waste the potential that is still there on the web and enjoy Google as a quality search-engine while it is possible.

    Nobody will suffer a bit from not starting a Shortening Serivice, there are many Shortening Services.

    Also Ashraff writes: “my URL shortening service won’t be much different than all the other ones (in fact it will probably lack lots of development/extensible related features of commercial URL shorteners)” It simply will not add any value.

    There is really no need, please don’t be selfish and conserve the power that is still there on the internet instead of eroding it.

  • URL Shortening Services are ten-a-penny these days. However, most of the actually good ones have gone out of business and no longer work; and as for the rest, so many of the shortened links have been used to link to spam websites, pranks, annoying YouTube videos etc, that no-one trusts them any more.

    A new URL Shorting Service would bring back some of the competition and give a fresh dose of reputation. That said, considering the hundreds of services still out there, it would have to be good to be worth it.

  • Ashraf… It’s all part of your tech business, so why not. I don’t use those services, but I know many who do. Enjoy! Harold

  • Kraal FictionWriter

    Why? I find the URLs at this site quite short already. All of them fit in my address bar, with no side scrolling to be done. Only the forum post URLs seem to get any significant length. Which is still alright, because it says what the post is about.

    Granted…I haven’t looked at every link on this site…but still.

    And I like Funkster’s reasoning.

  • I absolutely support you Ashraf!
    You could code the service to make the urls look like a promotion for your site, e.g. “.t”,”.tas”,”.tashraf”,”.tech”,.”.ashraf=gr8″, etc.

  • Funkster

    Adding to my last comment:
    Google counts unique URL’s pointing from one page to another.
    Say ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ point to ‘Z’. This gives ‘Z’ a ranking of 3.
    Google can not look inside a shortened link. If ‘B’ were a shortened link, Google doesn’t know it points to ‘Z’, making the count for ‘Z’ only 2.

    I wrote ‘the count to that page will be shared.. ‘, witch in fact is not correct (but easier to write) as I described above.

    The conclusion however will not alter.

  • Funkster

    There are a lot of shortening services some with other features than the other. Enough to choose from to serve everybody’s needs.
    So if the only reason were: ‘it’s just cool to have’ then I admit that is a reason, but not a very good one.

    First of all I like to make clear that I’m not against url shorteners, in fact for those who like to use Twitter it is even a must.

    The point however is that when more and more shorteners come to live it will cripple online search services like ‘Google’.
    We won’t want to do that I think, almost everybody uses Google. Ofcourse there are alternatives, but it is not Google but more basic their used techniques are at danger (not only Google of course, others use these techniques aswell).

    What Google does is making use of a page ranking system counting the amount of referrals to a page. When many referrals from other pages exist to a certain page, this page must be important giving it a higher ranking of significance.
    When you use Google the most significant links are shown first.
    This is pretty neat I think (and many with me).

    By using shorteners Google does count the links for a certain page but if those links differ (shorteners make the link different ofcourse) the count to that page will be shared among the real url and among the (sometimes even many) shortened urls lowering the relevance for every different link.
    This way a relevant page may become less relevant seemingly and this works against the effectiveness of a service like Google.

    My advise would be to found shorteners only with very good reasons, not just for “cool to have”.

  • celphick

    If you want to do it, then a URL shortening service based on what you provide, tech info/opinions would probably be your niche.

  • Harry

    sure why not?, if its fast, free, and gets you more readers go for it :D