TinyURL outage trips up Twitterers

With TinyURL, it's reassuring to see a major Internet service that still looks like it's being run from a dorm room.

"TinyURL is experiencing temporary dificulties." Yes, that's "dificulties."

A service outage at TinyURL, the website that converts long Web addresses to short ones, reminded me today that supersize companies such as Google and Yahoo haven't completely locked up the Internet.

TinyURL was set up in 2002 by Kevin Gilbertson, a young programmer in Minnesota frustrated by the long URLs of newsgroup postings.

Today, Gilbertson claims 1.75 billion hits per month to the service. Yet the TinyURL site still consists mostly of a modest blue-and-white homepage, with a Google ad banner on one side.

TinyURL is used automatically by Twitter to truncate URLs entered into Twitter status updates. Gilbertson couldn't be reached immediately for comment, but Twitter has obviously raised the bar on TinyURL to serve more hits with less downtime. [UPDATE: Kevin Gilbertson said in an email, "Twitter is estimated to be the source of about 8% of our traffic."]

Today's [Friday] outage pointed out, ironically, just how good Gilbertson's uptime is. A few minutes ago, www.tinyurl.com returned a "500 Server Error" page to me. Unlike Twitter's cute-but-uninformative Fail Whale, TinyURL's simple, text-only error page included instructions to edit the URL in my browser to reach a backup server, b.tinyurl.com. That worked.

At 1.75 billion hits per month, it's surprising that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft haven't stepped in with their own shorter-URL services. But it's reassuring to see a major Internet service that still looks like it's being run from a dorm room.

Please, Kevin or whoever, leave "dificulties" misspelled. It's part of your brand.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags tinyurl

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Boutin

The Industry Standard
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?