DeWitt Clinton (a fellow Googler) wrote up an excellent analysis of URL shorteners on Buzz. In short, they suck for users, they suck for publishers, and they suck for the web. My recent Tropophilia post on links got me thinking on this subject a little, and I was thinking about posting something, but nothing I write would approach DeWitt’s level of expertise and insight. A highly recommended read. (Note: Taylor wrote about URL shorteners briefly here).
Side note: Although I find DeWitt’s post a little long for Buzz, it does show off some of the service’s rich editing capabilities. Scoble and Cutts have been talking recently about how nicely Buzz fills the niche between microblogging and regular blogging (what is that, pseudoblogging I guess?). I agree, and I have come to see Buzz more like a social version of Tumblr than I do a new Twitter or a Blogger. Hoping more of my friends will jump back on the Buzz train in the future to check it out.
As mentioned in my recent post at Tropophilia, I’m experimenting with a service called Apture that aims to give publishers tools to add rich content to their site without losing their visitors. It also provides a handy way for readers to easily evaluate a link and decide if it’s worth navigating to (or opening in a new background tab).
Let’s put it to the test on my bio to see some of the available options. (Update: I would never use Apture for all or even many of my links. I would be much for selective in real use, trying only to implement it when I think readers would appreciate it or find it useful.)
Yesterday, Google launched the Government Requests tool. The site shows the number of requests for user data and content removals that Google received from governments worldwide, from July through December 2009. Chief Legal Officer David Drummond explains our motivation here (and also published an op-ed in the Washington Post on the subject), but the gist is best summarized in this simple sentence:
“We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.”
This is an important moment not only for Google, but also for our users and the rest of the industry. I am proud to have helped gather much of the data for this project, and I look forward to seeing other organizations follow our lead.
In the summer of 2006, Taylor and I were research assistants for Davidson political science professor Dr. Patrick Sellers (also our academic advisor). We were essentially reading transcripts and press releases from different congressional political figures and “coding” them based on how they framed a certain topic.
Pat has finally had his book, Cycles of Spin, published by Cambridge University Press. He was kind enough to give us a shout out in the acknowledgements section (see below, end of second paragraph). What’s more, the bibliography includes citations to two of Taylor’s writings: one of his papers (co-authored with Pat)… and one of his posts from Tropophilia!
All opinions that I express online are entirely my own. They do not necessarily reflect the positions of my firm, clients, or any other organizations with which I am or have previously been affiliated. I am a lawyer, but probably not yours: nothing I post here is intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such.