Abraham Vegh asks if I've written a blog post that explains the benefits of my blork.ly URL-shortener and the DNS-based approach I took. I haven't but it's time to do that because I have enough experience to be able to tell the story.
Identity is the holy enabler, the door we're trying to unlock so we can build more interesting systems. It's one of those areas where it looks like the problem hasn't been solved, but it has. Big corporations have no problem identifying us. They can do it using a variety of inputs, like where we're tweeting from, what sites we visit, what our IP address is, what times of day we go to what kinds of places. They're really good at this, there's even a marketing name for it, Big Data.
More hamsters spinng wheels we can't see and don't deliver any benefit to us, as hamsters. They don't make us healthier, give us nice movies to watch or food to eat, they don't get us laid, or take us to fun places. They don't do anything for hamsters that a hamster would want to do.
It's one of the great stories of all philosophies and religions. It comes in many forms and flavors. You can't see what's in front of your eyes.
Ask a fish to describe water and he looks at you puzzled. Water? There is no such thing. What are you talking about.
You might be able to describe the weather, but how do you explain air? For most of the existence of our species we weren't even aware that there was such a thing.
But it's hard and expensive. A name costs a lot, and creating one is complicated. Nothing that "our mother" could do. But does it have to be that way? The same things were said about web publishing. Now if you said a neophyte couldn't write a blog -- well look at all the people who use the Twitters. There really aren't many limits there. Same simplification process could be applied to DNS.
So that's one reason I love blork.ly. It's helping me learn about DNS. It's helping me make it easier.
Another reason I like it is that it's mine. So if I want to do something with all the URLs I'm collecting, I don't have to ask for an API. The data is sitting in a Frontier object database. Ready for me to do anything I can imagine with it. That's how I like my data. Where it's easy for me to get at it.
And why not use DNS to distribute the pointers. There's got to be some decentralization advantage lurking in there.
It makes up funny names and they sneak up on me, and make me laugh. Just the other day it created a link named my.blork.ly. Or om.blork.ly (wish I had thought to use it to point to an Om Malik piece). Just after that -- oy.blork.ly! That was fun. Somewhere along the line it must have generated a ly.blork.ly. And soon there will be a yl.blork.ly.
My URLs are shorter than what would come out of bit.ly, even though blork is longer than bit. And that ultimately is what we love about URL-shorteners, they make URLs shorter.