The past few days there has been a lot of buzz for short urls.
First, it was the announcement that tinyurl will support custom aliases for shortened urls, to make them more readable and memorable (see here).
Yesterday, it was the launching of a new short url service, bit.ly, that brings lots of new features hailed by many users.
As I read through Marshall Kirkpatrick’s excellent write up of bit.ly in RWW, I felt that a kind of injustice was done on my friend Panos who has developed a similar service (urlborg) some time ago, but has not received similar attention yet.
Trying not to be partial though, I decided to make a comparison table, to, first, see for myself, if what I was feeling was justified, and then post it here, for others to see too.
|User Account||No||Yes (google accounts)|
|History||Through cookie for the last 15 links shortened||Total history of urls shortened as well as those clicked|
|Custom Url||By modifying each url separately||Through short domains|
|Cached copy of every page||Yes||No|
|Media player in url preview||No||Yes|
|Mobile version of page in preview||No||Yes|
|Coupling Google Maps links to Yahoo maps links||No||Yes|
|XML, JSON for traffic data/thumbnails||Yes||Unknown yes|
|Scalability||EC2 & S3||Google Apps Engine|
|Open Calais semantic analysis||Planned|
As one can see from the table above, with the exception of the planned features of bit.ly, urlborg, stands pretty well against it.
As a matter of fact, urlborg is better in history tracking because, by emplyoing the Google account mechanism, it can keep track of all short urls created and/or clicked by a certain user.
Urlborg does not support thumbnails, but offsets the lack of this feature by other (mobile page preview, coupled map urls, media player) which, depending on the use, might be more important to a user.
Referral tracking is something missing from urlborg and it should be there. But the support of short domains prevails in significance to the support of custom urls, (or aliases in the case of tinyurl).
From the above, I think that my gut feeling is justified and that urlborg should receive some more attention. It deserves it.