March 31st, 2009

artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

tinyurl.com

It is very annoying that people overuse tinyurl.com so often. Just yesterday found a paper with several references through tinyurl.com. The problem with it is the same as with the facebook -- what you give to it is gone forever.

Giving reference through tinyurl.com is the same as the banks that have different .com domains for different services, so that we, their poor customers, can never be sure of the authority of whoever provides us with the information. Or the MasterCard SecureCode joke, which requires you to put in sensitive information in a popup window of a totally unknown web-site you've never seen before, "because we care about security". What a joke.

Perhaps an interesting idea would be for each web-site to have its own tinyurl engine, such that every address on any web-site could be encoded without the loss of domain authority. However, it'll still be easier to have proper web-site structure and reasonable URL scheme, such that even long URLs could be easily typed and corrected as necessary, or recreated by following obvious links from the main web-page of the site. Tinyurl.com does have its purpose, but using it for half the references in the Reference section of a 14-page paper is fundamentally wrong.