Twitter has declared bit.ly the king of the link shortening services, ousting TinyURL from top spot. Tweetdeck (and if you haven't tried using this as your Twitter interface, yet, I recommend that you do) has been using bit.ly all along, and my unofficial impression is that bit.ly's shortened links were shorter, which is rather handy when you want to include a link in your 140 character twitter message.
But that's not really the point. See this ReadWriteWeb article..
In addition to providing shortened URLs, bit.ly also serves as a trend management and metrics platform. Those of us who bang on about everything being about people, will be gratified by this paragraph (the emphasis is mine):
The key idea behind the Web is that pages are connected through hypertext links. Google changed the world and made money beyond anyone's wildest dreams by analyzing those connections between pages. It was a simple proposition, at its core: the more a page is linked to, the more authoritative it is. The web isn't just pages anymore, though. Now the web also includes people as a fundamental factor to take into consideration.According to the article, bit.ly claims that its API (application programming interface) is close to allowing users to ask it questions like:
within the last hour, what are the five hottest web pages about President Obama's budget? What social networks are sharing links to my web page the most today? What are ornithologists on Twitter most interested in this week?It sounds like we're closing in on the kind of web app that can be set to a task and left to get on with it, while you do other stuff. Rather like the sort of thing I was referring to in this post. Am I beginning to see the clouds and hear the cuckoos?