I think there’s room for something a little special. I think the guys at TinyURL could help towards thwarting the effectiveness of comment spam, and here’s how…
First of all, for those not familiar with TinyURL: “Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you’ve come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.”
OK, now that’s out of the way, let’s look at my idea.
I tend to see people using TinyURL for comment spam. I have to point out that TinyURL links are a very small part of the overall problem, but I’ve seen it, and it’s a misuse of a great service.
So the problem is that any web address passed through TinyURL is obfuscated. So you can’t tell whether it’s a link to a sobering, lengthy Times article, or a racy series of images depicting a bunch of drunken / drug-addled nekkid girls on Tight ‘n’ Tiny Teens.
However, what if TinyURL offered a trusted service?
What if they validated links and then added a letter to the web address they supply you with to denote trusted or untrusted?
In this example, the tinier version of the web address to this ‘blog is: http://tinyurl.com/2ucg24, but since it’s likely to be trusted, what if it read instead: http://tinyurl.com/t/2ucg24? Where the letter ‘t’ means that the underlying web address is a trusted source.
And conversely, the letter ‘u’ would mean that the underlying web address is an untrusted source.
Nearly there, but could do with [enter your own idea here]
And those thoughts are?
You know what to do…