As I alluded to that post, I see 3 opportunities for URL shorteners, all of them revolve around increasing trust (branding, security, backup).
Let’s take that first one – branding. Another name for branding is accountability. Who really knows where a tinyurl a similar service will point you, but you can be confident a minnpo.st URL will point you to an article on minnpost.com and a grv.me URL will point you to something I authored.
From my perspective there are 3 parties that should have a good short URL corresponding to their identity:
the author (i.e. grv.me)
the publisher (i.e. minnpo.st)
the share-er (imagine a link blog of short urls)
Sometimes all 3 are the same.
Conveniently, as greater accountability is introduced to short URLs, the issues of security and backups address themselves.
Take one step back.
Web publishing engines – like WordPress, MovableType, and all publications engines really – should automatically generate nice long human-readable URLs as well as a short, easy-to-share URLs (at least the URL keys, you can supply your own short domain if you want). (Dave Winer something along these lines a few weeks back, but I can find the link right now)
One more step back, and you can see this is only an issue now because of the growing popularity of 1 specific website and an expectation that these short URLs are permalinks. If you don’t have that expectation, shorten with RE07.US
When I talk about Cullect to people publishing feeds, I very consciously don’t use the word ‘blog*’. Primarily because bloggers blogging blogs aren’t the only people publishing online. Almost everyone publishing online publishes a feed.
No matter if that publication contains text, audio, video, software, or something completely different. Cullect works the same if you’re CNN, Dave Winer, or Eric Larson.
I’m much more comfortable with the word ‘blog’ at blog.cullect.com – where it represents the voice of a non-human entity – and much less so everywhere else. Now that I think about it, that may be the only WordPress install I maintain identifying itself as a ‘blog’.
Also note, the button in WordPress to make this public is labeled ‘Publish’.
When I sat down to walk her through WordPress, she already had 3 posts ready to go. She’s been steady since. Which is great, her writing style is perfect for blogging – informal, local, and full of her personality. From her post on the Twin’s stadium construction outside her office window: