Have you ever come across an extraordinarily long URL and wondered: why does it have to be that long and is there a way to shorten it so it could become more user-friendly in an e-mail or blog post? (Wow, that's a long first sentence could be shortened!).
The answer to the second question is TinyURL.com, a small online utility that quickly squeezes URLs to a much more manageable size. For whatever reason, ZDNet's David Berlind believes that TinyURL has the potential to be the next YouTube because…well, I'm really sure other than his theory that anyone who squeezes a URL must be really interested in that particular Web site, which could be extremely valuable data for marketers. Berlind tracked down TinyURL's developer, Kevin Gilbertson, a podcast. The interview reveals Berlind's theory is way ahead of what Gilbertson thinks, including the idea a big Web player could come along and snap up TinyURL for big bucks.
MakeYouGoHmm.com, which developed a rival URL utility called tdurl.com in 2004, doesn't understand why Berlind is so excited about TinyURL.com, which has squeezed 28 million URLs so far, and generates revenue from Yahoo ads. In fact, he's surprised that ZDNet doesn't own its own URL shortening service.