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Amazon's new URL-shortener

Friday, May 08, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named accordion.gifIn March, I observed that Amazon had already done some URL shortening on its own, meaning that a link like this:  Permalink to this paragraph

http://amazon.com/wii  Permalink to this paragraph

actually works. Now, apparently they've gone further and have a shorter domain, amzn.com and a huge number of short URLs in that domain that take you to product pages on amazon.com.  Permalink to this paragraph

Mike Koss wrote a script that worked its way through a dictionary trying all the different words, and published the list. (That's what I call investigative journalism, so much for bloggers being lazy.) Permalink to this paragraph

I'd love to see an official word from Amazon on this. How is a user supposed to go from a page on Amazon to a short URL? Even better, suppose they had a bookmarklet that would automatically populate the Twitter "What are you doing?" box with some text and a copy of the short URL? Might be a real money-maker, and we know that Amazon likes to make money! (And Bezos is also an investor in Twitter.) Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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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