Don’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming a mile away. When the Cruise Missiles started landing in Libya, it was almost a given that one of the most popular URL Shorteners would take a direct hit. For those of you that didn’t already know this, the “.ly” is the Libyan domain name, and the “bit.ly” URL shortener (which has no connection with the Libyan government, other than paying for the domain name), is scrambling to avoid any more strikes from the US Government.
Starting today, if you use the “bit.ly” shortener to shorten a “USA.GOV” link, you’ll notice that it no longer shortens it to “bit.ly/shorturl”. Instead, you get the “1.usa.gov/shorturl”.
So, I guess it’s “yay!” for patriotism” but “boo!” for short URLs. Right off the bat, anyone can see that the URL shortener is now three characters longer!! Couldn’t they have at least set it up as “us.gov/shorturl”?? I mean, really??
Now that the boys and girls of “Bit.ly” have opened the gates to changing USA.GOV links away from the taint of the Libyan domain name, I’m sure the state governments will be lining up to do their patriotic duty and ask that any links to their state websites also be changed to something different (and probably longer, as well.)
See the Talking Points Memo article for additional details on the 1.USA.gov launch.