IndieWeb and Short URLs

Here I shall use the terms URI and URL interchangeably to mean the same thing. I appreciate there are subtle differences.

The IndieWeb is a fantastic idea. The web itself is inherently open. No one owns it, no one directly controls it. However, if you aren’t careful what services you use on the web then it can effectively end up that way. We all use the web in a primarily social way these days, social networks if you will. The big three players on the social web are Facebook, Twitter, and Google with their Google+ service. They want you to spend as much of your time as possible on their services in order to maximise their advertising revenues.

This doesn’t play nicely with the inherently open and interoperable foundations of the web. Foundations without which these big players wouldn’t exist.

And thus the IndieWeb is born. A desire to own your social identity and share however little or much of that social presence with these big players you want. Which I think is absolutely right. Just have a look at what people are saying about Medium.

But what of URL shortening services?

Some people seem to think that having your very own short URL helps in this cause. Which I suppose it does, but I think only to a small degree. Why do we even need to shorten web addresses? The only situation I think it would be necessary is posting/syndicating to Twitter. Any other service has ample character space to post the full URL, or is sensible and uses annotations. On Twitter however, any link, regardless of how short it is, gets wrapped up in their t.co service.

I therefore don’t currently see any compelling reason to run your own URL shortening service other than simply because you can.

*[URL]: Universal Resource Link *[URI]: Universal Resouce Identifier