almost 8 years on 2009-12-08


i just read the wsj article ( ) about the risks associated with / tinyurl etc and maintaining link integrity. the ideas, as has been commonly addressed in the tech industry for a while, but is crossing over into mainstream consciousness, is that if a redirection service, like url shortener, disappeared, billions of links would go dead. people who want to preserve those links feel that this is 'risky'

i totally agree that this is a big risk if you want to preserve your links... but it actually got me thinking that there is probably a value in a service that actively removes those links after a window of time or non-use. for instance, the wsj article speaks about a risk around legal discovery -- if you send a link to someone, and then the link dies, how will people know where you were sending them? thinking that a bad thing seems to be only half of the equation.

so, just like 'going off the record' in gmail chat -- perhaps it is time for someone to create a self destructing redirection/url shortening service -- so that when you email your buddy a link and he stores it in gmail -- the link itself will only works once, or for a day, etc. not sure how big the market is, but i suspect it would provide value to someone.

original swl blogposts and letters 2007-2010