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Tr.im goes community-owned, takes shot at Bit.ly

The drama around URL shorteners doesn't appear to be ending any time soon. Here's a quick recap, for those who haven't been following:
  • Tr.im, the fourth most popular URL shortening service, shut down because of the insurmountable advantage its competitor, Bit.ly, gets as a result of being the default URL shrinker on Twitter.
  • A couple of days later, Tr.im was back, still angry about the perceived Bit.ly monopoly, but ready to continue operations or sell to someone who would.
  • According to Tr.im, Bit.ly offered Tr.im $10,000 for its domain name and all of its links. Tr.im said no to this and other reported offers.
  • Meanwhile, Bit.ly joined a coalition of similar services, called 301works, to create an archive of shortlinks, in case a shutdown like Tr.im's should happen again in the future.
That brings us up to today, and Tr.im's announcement that it's going to be community-owned. By positioning Tr.im as the people's URL shortener, the site's operator, Eric Woodward, hopes to achieve a large enough market share that Tr.im's collection of links can be a meaningful (and open source) data set for analysts. Tr.im has split off from parent company Nambu, and Woodward has agreed to personally cover any shortfall in Tr.im's operating costs.

In his blog post announcing the community-owned model, Woodward criticizes the 301works group as a Bit.ly publicity stunt that will be ineffective in solving the dead link problem. He's quite clear that Tr.im will not be joining 301works, and that community ownership is a better way to preserve links in the future.


Tags: 301works, bit.ly, open-source, opensource, shorturl, tr.im, trim, url-shortener

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