links for 2009-05-30

  • By now you’ve most likely joined Twitter (and if you haven’t, you need to, pronto!). Twitter is not only a great place for businesses and marketers, but it’s also a great place to spruce up your writing skills. Yes. You read that correctly.

    Twitter can make you a better writer. Here’s how.

  • The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Although the initial launch of provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, we invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless access and use of your Federal data. includes a searchable data catalog that includes access to data in two ways: through the "raw" data catalog and using tools."
  • "CircLabs plans a suite of services, the first of which is code-named “Circulate.” Software development on Circulate is underway, and we anticipate launching the service during the second half of this year.

    "Circulate will address the challenges of how to increase traffic to media-affiliated websites, secure relationships with online users and enhance the value of news. The Associated Press has been cooperating with us and is supportive of the service. We anticipate including a variety of strategic partners — unique investors necessary for continued development after the launch of Circulate.

    "Circulate is an outgrowth of research led by Bill Densmore, who was a 2008-2009 Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri."

  • "A group of newspaper execs met this week to discuss the best ways to collude; I mean “support and preserve the traditions of newsgathering that will serve the American public.”

    "Rather than comment on these legally-challenged meetings, I’m here to offer some suggestions for charging for news. Let’s assume that newspaper leaders have committed to charging for news. Here are my suggestions for what to do and what to avoid…"

  • "Our customers have told us that they love being able to add highlights and notes to their Kindle books, and now we've made it possible for you to access your highlights and notes here at AmazonKindle. To view your highlights and notes from your browser, sign in with your Amazon account, and select one of your books where you've added highlights or notes.

    sign in

links for 2009-05-28

links for 2009-05-21

  • "China has now proposed that the world move to a more symmetrical monetary system, in which nations peg their currencies to a representative basket of others rather than to the dollar alone. The “special drawing rights” of the International Monetary Fund is such a basket of four currencies (the dollar, pound, yen and euro), although the Chinese rightly suggest that it should be rebased to reflect a broader range of them, including China’s yuan. The dollar should depreciate against Asian currencies to encourage more U.S. net exports to Asia.

    "The U.S. response to the Chinese proposal was revealing. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner initially described himself as open to exploring the idea; his candor quickly caused the dollar to weaken in value—which it needs to do for the good of the U.S. economy. That weakening, however, led Geithner to reverse himself within minutes by underscoring that the U.S. dollar would remain the world’s reserve currency for the foreseeable future."

links for 2009-05-20

links for 2009-05-19

  • "The exclusive U.S. iPhone service provider is considering cutting the price of its monthly service package or offering a range of lower-priced plans, say people with knowledge of the company's thinking. One plan that could be introduced as early as late May would include limited data access at a $10 monthly reduction, the people say.

    "The possible price cut likely reflects the back-and-forth between AT&T and Apple (NasdaqGS:AAPL – News) as they work out whether and under what terms AT&T would remain the sole U.S. iPhone carrier."

links for 2009-05-18

  • Today's media d'oh! moment: "First, we continue to do an injustice to our print subscribers and create perceptions that our content has no value by putting all of our print content online for free."

    DUH!!! Print delivery is an extra service, putting content online for free does not devalue that service!

  • "Unlike Twitter, handles many ancillary functions that Twitter leaves to other sites. It lets you organize users into groups. It comes with a URL shortener akin to tinyurl. And when a user wants to direct other users to a photo or a PowerPoint file, not only creates the link, it hosts the file. Behind the scenes, there’s an “administrator API” that lets IT departments link account management into whatever systems they already use.

    " lets the boss decide how it’s to be used. It can be a stand-alone service cut off from Twitter, or it can be connected to Twitter so employees have the option to retweet interesting updates from Twitter onto the company’s network."

  • "In the past few days. I've been using for URL shortening on Twitter, and I've generally been pleased with their service. Tuesday, though, I opened my control panel only to find a "500 Internal Server Error," and nothing more. Sure enough, every single URL within the domain returned the same code and failed to redirect to its appropriate target.

    "The issue didn't seem to last terribly long, and I was willing to write it off as a fluke. Thursday, however, it happened again — and, from my measurement, the second go-round lasted even longer than the first."

  • " has quietly created its own URL shortener for products sold on its sites. People can now type "" and a product number to create a short URL, without the need for sites like and Amazon appears to be positioning itself to take better advantage of popular microblogging service Twitter and mobile texting to generate buzz about merchandise."
  • "Mr. @TweetSpammer (not his real name) comes along and retweets your perfectly valid tweet, but puts in a different link of his own – covering it up with URL shortening. Welcome to – the TweetJack zone!
    "Picture hijacking a tweet from CNN Breaking News (441k followers) – it will still be the same message, but an entirely different landing page.

    "The mechanics of tweetjacking are dead simple, anyone can do it: select a message to retweet, switch the original link for the one you want to hijack visitors to – then submit. Seeing it as a retweet, you’re piggybacking on the original poster’s authority. Not only will people click those links, they’ll also retweet your stuff again and again without ever checking them – this makes it get viral within seconds. @TweetSpammer is not a “bad boy,” he’s just interested in using a borrowed ladder to success."

  • WP pluging to create your own short URLs in your blog. I'll try it.
  • Twitter would be better off creating its own URL shortening service that can become the standard, or buy one of the existing ones. If it ever does go the acquisition route, might be a leading candidate. It was created by Betaworks, the main investor behind the startup Twitter purchased last year (Summize) when it realized it needed its own real-time search engine."
  • "I'm going to share with you my testing on URI Conversions and how to prevent them from happening. There is one very good reason you'll want to do this: Search for your domain name at the above. How many times did you find a reference? Of course it was an unconverted URI. But, how many other references are there that have been converted that you cannot find?

    "Some of the URI Shortening Services have addressed this through tracking mechanisms which of course requires additional work on your part in monitoring your brand identity. Why bother? You do have some control over what happens to your URI during a Tweet."

  • "Sure, we can’t control if others use outside shortening services to shorten our URLs, but we can at least control our own generation of shortened URLs. We can promote URLs that contain our branding and increase the trust of folks who might be wary about clicking through on those links if they were using a URL they didn’t recognize. And we can worry a bit less about URL shortening services shutting down, redirecting or breaking URLs we’ve promoted with our name attached to them."
  • "There are downsides though, of course. First, you need to develop something. The simpler the solution the more work will be required for each link; the more complex the solution the more time you will spend building it. You also have to forego integration with popular software such as TweetDeck."
  • Free open-source software: " is shortener your url, email text and image and open source url shortener clone of tinyurl."
  • "Issues to consider and a breakdown of popular services, including recommendations and services to avoid (the new DiggBar being one of these)."
  • Explains how to use Kissabe open-source software to roll your own URL shortener for your site.
  • Hosted custom URL shortener. Kind of a halfway ste3p between using tinyurl and rolling your own. $99/year, integrates with Google Analytics.
  • "The worst problem is that shortening services add another layer of indirection to an already creaky system. …A link that used to be transparent is now opaque and requires a lookup operation. From my past experience with Delicious, I know that a huge proportion of shortened links are just a disguise for spam.

    "…A new and potentially unreliable middleman now sits between the link and its destination. And the long-term archivability of the hyperlink now depends on the health of a third party. The shortener may decide a link is a Terms Of Service violation and delete it. If the shortener accidentally erases a database, forgets to renew its domain, or just disappears, the link will break. If a top-level domain changes its policy on commercial use, the link will break. If the shortener gets hacked, every link becomes a potential phishing attack.

    "We hope the shortener never decides to add interstitials or otherwise "monetize" the link with ads, but we have no guarantee.

links for 2009-05-17

links for 2009-05-16

links for 2009-05-15