Bit.ly: Almost the Delicious of the Semantic Web
A little while back I wrote
about how Bit.ly has the potential to bring us ever closer to the "semantic web" comparing it to the seemingly out-of-date delicious.com. Since that post, Bit.ly has added a few features as well as refined its user interface which suggest where Bit.ly may be headed.
The most significant new feature is profile pages. Just as Delicious accounts are in the form of delicious.com/username
, Bit.ly accounts are in the form of username.bit.ly
. Instead of linking to a Delicious account to show the world what you are sharing, you can just link to your Bit.ly account. However some features are missing from the profile pages, most notably, share/click counts. Bit.ly could easily list next to each link on adelevie.bit.ly the number of times someone has shortened the same url as well as total number of times people have clicked on that link. The data is all there, it's only a matter of incorporating it into the user interface. Nevertheless, the people at Bit.ly do seem to understand the power of using their own click data to find what is relevant on the web. They're testing the waters very slowly with this concept.
Back in October of 2008, the Bit.ly blog had a post titled Yesterday's Top Bits
where they simply listed the highest-clicked Bit.ly links. Later, in February of 2009
, Bit.ly created a Twitter account
called bitlynow which tweets the highest-clicked Bit.ly links for a certain time period. This gives Bit.ly the ability to keep a pulse as to what's being shared on the web in a similar manner as Twitturly
. Twitturly's advantage is that its data include just about every link that goes through Twitter. Bit.ly's advantage is that its click/referral tracking feature allows it to look beyond just Twitter. I'd like to see some amalgamation of Twitter, Twitturly and Bit.ly.
While Bit.ly's new features are encouraging, they still don't address the 800 pound gorilla in the room: its growing database of semantic data about each Bit.ly link (from Open Calais
' api). Solely tracking the flow of links only gives part of the picture. Tracking the flow of the meaning of those links is a lot more valuable. It would be nice to see Bit.ly make sense of all this data.
28 February 2009