Author Archives: Dave Winer

Introducing — the incredible professional’s URL-shortener is a URL-shortener with lots of new stuff designed for an app developer who needs everything and more! πŸ™‚

1. History — we remember the last 15 shortened URLs you’ve created. They’re displayed on the home page next time you go back. Cookie-based.

2. Click/Referrer tracking — Every time someone clicks on a short URL we add 1 to the count of clicks for that page and for the referring page.

3. There’s a simple API for creating short URLs from your web apps.

4. We automatically create three thumbnail images for each page you link through, small, medium and large size. You can use these in presenting choices to your users.

5. We automatically mirror each page, never know when you might need a backup. πŸ™‚

6. Most important for professional applications, you can access all the data about each page through a simple XML or JSON interface. Example.

7. All the standard features you expect from serious url-shorteners.

And it’s just the beginning, we’re tracking lots more data so that as more URLs are shortened by we’ll be able to turn on more features.

What is SwitchABit?

The SwitchABit platform was developed because we noticed that an ever more complex flow of ideas and information is being facilitated by editorial systems and aggregators such as Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Seesmic, Qik, Ustream, YouTube, BlogTalkRadio, Disqus, WordPress, Tumblr, TypePad, Blogger, etc. And it’s not likely to get any simpler over time, rather people are going to want to connect more apps together, with more flexibility and therefore more complexity.

So we developed a platform to make it easy to set up these complex relationships. The focus has been on power with maximum ease of use. It’s called SwitchABit, and it will go to private beta sometime in the next couple of weeks. We’ll have a signup page where you can let us know you want to work with us on getting it smoothed out and ready for massive consumption.

In the meantime, to prove that it’s working, we’ve adapted two of my early Twitter-related apps, both on the Twittergram domain, to run on the SwitchABit platform. The first of these is ready for people to use — the Flickr-to-Twitter functionality. If you’re already a Twittergram user, you can go to the original setup page, and look for the yellow box with the picture of the friendly postman, and click on the link to be taken to the new site. Fill in the form, validate your account, and give it a whirl.

It should be every bit as reliable as the original service (maybe more so) and quite a bit faster. It’s also designed to scale to work for hundreds of thousands of users, Murphy-willing.

Anyway — wish us luck — the journey begins today. We hope you come along for the ride!

Om Malik blesses our humble startup

Betaworks, a New York-based seed-stage investment/development company started by John Borthwick (a former AOL executive who recently sold photo-sharing service Fotolog to Hi Media of France for $90 million), is about to launch its first project, SwitchAbit.

The project, described by Borthwick as a content routing platform, will become a standalone company and will merge with Twittergram, a service created by Dave Winer. This is a no-cash deal. Dave will join SwitchAbit as an advisor.

The full article.


Do you have feedback about any of our web apps or services? You can send us email (we read all of it) or if you prefer post a comment here so all our users can benefit from your experience.

Ahem cough *tease* cough ahem


An example of a blog post routed from Twitter

Here’s a twit I just posted that will (Murphy-willing) be cross-posted to

It worked. Here’s where it got routed to.

Note that the ! at the beginning causes the post to be routed.

Welcome to the Switchabit blog

We’re developing an exciting new web application that we look forward to telling you about in the coming weeks and months.