Twitter and TinyURL, Useful Together

Twitter’s popularity has been increasing at an astounding rate, with a recent steep ascent attributable to the SXSW Interactive Festival. All of this attention has people debating the merits of the service.

Regardless of the outcome, Twitter is fun. It spawns projects like Prom Queen, a popularity contest based on your number of followers. Robert Scoble is currently leading the vote with 1349 as of this writing.

While reading his updates, I was struck by the use of TinyURLs. TinyURL is a service that takes meaningful addresses and turns them into meaningless garbage such as

Looking at that, there is no indication as to where you will wind up when clicking on a link. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to wind up on the seedier side of the Internet when following TinyURLs.

Yet, when seeing them used in a Twitter feed, I finally recognized their value. Any Twitter message needs to be expressed succinctly in 140 characters or less. TinyURL condenses addresses down to the point where they are suitable for SMS-based systems.

And so it is, that two services easily arguable as useless, can be useful together.


Lonna Hanson
March 16, 2007 at 1:52 PM

Enjoyed reading your entry. I am home today for Spring Break and had fun going to your site.

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