These services are highly problematic for archival preservation, since they depend on the continued life of the service on which the redirection is hosted, as well as the specific data record for the individual shortened URL involved. These have a way of vanishing when the provider goes out of business, suffers a server crash, gets hacked, comes under a court order or governmental censorship regime forcing removal of links, or adopts a new, more buzzword-compliant business model for which their new targeted goal of assisting enterprise clients in leveraging branding synergies leaves them no resources to devote to continued maintenance of their legacy data.
IBM claims a patent on the concept of shortening a link, apparently.
As bad as URL shorteners are, maybe these guys could have used one.
- Wikipedia article
- urlte.am project to archive URL shortener databases
- Do Not Link: lets you link to sites without helping them in the search engines
- terroroftinytown: URLTeam's second generation of URL shortener archiving tools
- Bit.ly & Viglink Quietly Adding Their Own Affiliate Cookies on Shortened Links