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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Adjix has a breakthrough idea in URL shorteners Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named silo.gifSometimes it's funny how you're led to an interesting idea when you're not expecting it. This idea arrived at the end of a chain of events started by inviting Guy Kawasaki to use my 40-tweets app. Here's the story.

1. Guy asked if I could make the app work with his favorite URL shortener, Adjix. I said I'd check it out.

2. Joe Moreno, the CEO of Adjix, emailed me and showed how to get hit stats from his service, in a manner similar to what I was getting from

3. When I tried to deref one of his short URLs I found he was using the meta-refresh technique. I was irritated, why isn't he using the HTTP redirect mechanism like everyone else. He said it was so they could use Adsense to track clicks. Some of his users wanted it. I found a way to work around the issue without having to parse the HTML and then forgot it. (Here's the text of the page they return.)

4. A few days later Moreno mentioned in an email that another advantage is their shortener could be served statically from S3. This hit me like a ton of bricks. Say what!

Think about it. When you shorten a URL, what if instead of generating a record in a database that requires a dynamic server to stay up indefinitely, you generated static HTML and saved it somewhere likely to survive the apocalypse. It's not a complete answer to the problem presented by URL shorteners, but it's pretty great half-step. Maybe even a 3-quarters-step.

Joe wrote it up here.

Jake Jarvis calls this an Apocalypse-proof URL shortener. I like! ;->

How to get started with Facebook's new API? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm reading the docs for Facebook's Open Stream API, with fascination. It sounds like an app can read and write to a user's stream, something like the way one writes an app to access the Twitter status stream. That's something I want to do!

A picture named tt.jpgBut...

Say I want to write an app to access my own stream. What's the process? How do I give the app permission? What's the endpoint?

I assume FQL is Facebook Query Language? What do I do with that? I don't know.

I have a feeling these docs are written for developers who have been working with Facebook. I have never written any code to call Facebook's API.

If they want to go after Twitter developers (no one is going to like this, but it's the truth) read their developer docs, and make your API work like that.

I say no one is going to like that except Twitter developers of course. ;->

This is why I say that to compete with Twitter you must start with item #0 in the wishlist.


Last update: Monday, April 27, 2009 at 12:55 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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