May 14, 2009

Battle of URL Shorteners

In today’s Web-inspired lifestyle, there is nothing better than to share interesting URLs that contains videos, pictures, profiles and almost every stuff that could be found on the Net.

Sharing URLs are a part of social networking and communication. It is a way of sharing updates and news. It has grown to be a daily activity for most of the people on the Internet.

We send it thru Plurk, Friendster, Twitter and on online forums. These sites set up a character limit. For example, the comment character on Friendster is 800+, Plurk’s Plurk character limit is 100+ and Twitter’s tweet character limit is 140+. But URLs seem to grow ever more longer, and it becomes a problem for netizens to have more space to type on. For example, this URL, , contains 57 characters, leaving you with only 50+ characters on Plurk and Twitter to say what you want to say.

Longer URLs are not also friendly to forum signatures, wherein some forums set up a character limit. As for FriendsterTalk, there is a 400 character limit, and having a long URL gives you short space to input more.

As demands for a shorter URL increases, new ways to shorten them comes up. Popular today is TinyURL, where a long URL of infinite characters can be shortened down to 25 characters.

TinyURL is an example of a URL redirection site, which offers shorter links that when clicked, will redirect to the original one, which is usually longer.

TinyURL is widespread, and 386 of the 1000 most popular sites has links directing to them. Made on 2002, this website has grown to serve more than 200 million URLs, and is continually growing every day. It has only been funded by donations and advertisements.

But behind the popularity, TinyURL has suffered from major issues. According to a source, “TinyURL obscures the original address, and as a result it's sometimes used to redirect to an unexpected site. Examples of this are rickrolling, redirecting to scam and affiliate websites, or shock sites; ZoneAlarm has given the warning "TinyURL may be unsafe. This website has been known to distribute spyware.” “. TinyURL is also prone to spams, for when clicking it, you do not know where you are going.

Giant websites have responded from the dangers of TinyURL. MySpace banned users from posting TinyURLs in 2006, which was followed by Yahoo! Answers the same year. Recently, Orkut and Wikipedia joined the growing lists of websites who are banning TinyURLs, and more disastrously for TinyURL, Twitter has changed its default URL shortener.

Along comes the biggest contender of TinyURL, Though only started not more than a year ago, has grown to be one of the most popular URL shortening websites in the world. It’s traffic rankings is 957, more than a 9,000 place jump from its position just three months ago. is viewed as a revolutionary URL shortening site. In fact, the one replaced TinyURL as the default URL shortener of Twitter is has many advantages against his rival TinyURL. First, its shortened URL is at maximum, 20 characters long only, adding five more characters to all your words compared to TinyURL’s 25.

You can also make an account on, and on that way, all the URLs that you have shortened will be remembered. So, you do not have to copy that URL again and reproduce another shortened link for it.

All URLs that you made with your account are unique, meaning, even though other users have shortened the same URL, you’ll get a different URL from his. You are the only one who has that exact URL.’s another edge is that information is gathered from that link. You can see how many have clicked it, the number of referrals and the location data for URL. And since it is the default URL shortener of Twitter, you can also see from their page whether that link has been a subject of a conversation or not.

As of now, TinyURL is still ahead of in the web traffic rankings, with TinyURL at 383, and at 957. is fast approaching TinyURL in traffic rankings., also, has not unleashed its weapon, the search engine results. Search engines hit TinyURL more often, for it is the most popular to date. After begins to gain ground on Twitter and is spread on the Web, will also increase its search engine popularity, bringing its rank further up.

“It is still way to early to call a winner here, but the next six months will be an interesting time as these URL shorteners reinvent what it means to be an URL shortener, fight over market share, and come up with business models that allow them to sustain their business for the long haul.” Geoffrey Mack, a web analysts say.

May 10, 2009

Scream at the Summit

As I knock on the other section’s room, I see some eyes that are amazed to see me and some that are degrading me. One asked me, “wow, ang galing mo siguro, sisiw lang sa’yo ang school no?”

Many students perceive the cream of the crop as a boastful bunch of students with higher-than-normal connection with the teachers. They see us as plastics, who always tries to smile in front of the teachers even though we are not happy with them, for the sake of high grades. They see us as fools, for being an all-out servant to their teachers. They see us as pitiful people, for they think we are dedicating our supposedly enjoyable high school lives into books and lectures. They see us as lie-low persons, that we don’t have time for lecture.

I encountered one male student who asked me, “Siguro, pag-uwi mo sa bahay puro ka libro no?”

Here’s the summary. Life as an honor student is a hell hidden in heaven!

School is a battlefield for us, and our weapons are our minds. We are fighting an endless battle of numbers, for victors are decided by it. The numbers you get serves as additional weapons for the war, for the more your weapons are, the higher your chances of being the conquistador.

We need to review for quizzes, perfect our exams, spend hundreds for projects and do anything to have this weapons of numbers. If all it takes is being grade-conscious, then do it! You may have to ruin relationships in the course of getting to the top, but it is a necessary process of bringing yourself there.

Fail one subject, and oh my, it is the end of your game. You don’t have lives here, like video games has. We only have one life – one shot of becoming the top.

It is a popularity war! If you are at the top, you are popular. Everyone knows you, for you represent your year level when it comes to excellence. You can also get to join activities. You get to be an emcee, seen by all high school students listening to you. You get to compete in other schools, and be called in front during the flag ceremony for some recognition. You get to participate in contests, and when you win, you will be awarded in front of everyone. If you don’t have the looks, then honors will certainly bring you that “cool” factor and great popularity.

Getting popular has its down sides. As a prominent figure, you have to act well, for everyone’s eyes know you. You also have many critics, many who say words of humiliation or insecurity. And since everyone knows you, everyone feels close to you, you get to chat to people you are not comfortable with, and who don’t know who you are, which makes you prone to anger easily.

As someone popular on the campus, I see many who ridicule me, feeling that they are cool enough to talk with what they see as “cool”. They want to surpass the unsurpassable, and degrade the undegradable. I don’t like to socialize with people that don’t share the same interests with me, making me feel awkward every time I step in into someone’s rooms.

Great expectations. That is another problem of an honor student. Your parents expect you to continue your high grades. they expect rising marks, and not numbers in landslides. Since you managed to get to the top before, they expect you to be on the top again. Sometimes, I feel like I regret being the Top 1. I could have just fail their expectations earlier when I was young so that today, I can live my life freely.

Your friends expect it too. After recognition, I received five comments on Friendster saying this, “valedictorian next year!” Then. what if you don’t make it next year? Everyone will be disappointed. Your friends will say that it is OK, though in reality it is not.

My relatives expect a lot from me, for my mother is a boastful parrot who chatted my whole academic achievements to everyone in our clan. I have never been a second placer in Academics, and if I became a second placer, it will be total shame for me. They are expecting that I’ll walk a straight path on the top of the graphs, and that there is no climbing down the stairs.

Of course, as someone with a free mind, I think of happy thoughts outside the confines of being an honor student. Sometimes, I regret the decision of being an honor student. I wish I hadn’t started out school as a bright student, so that I don’t feel all these stresses.

There is this feeling that I blame myself on why I grew up like this, so studious. If I messed up kindergarten, then I won’t be pressured to continue what I have started, for once you built greatness, along comes greater expectations.

I feel like I abuse myself too much. Due to studies, I feel like I do not have time for myself. I frequently burn the midnight oil in the name of projects for the sake of holding my position. I review exams that I do not like, and I memorize terms out of my will. I need to do sacrifices, which are not necessary if you don’t vie for the top spot. I feel forced to do all of this. I had to. I have to fill up their expectations.

If I was not an honor student, what could life be like with me? Life would be way happier, but I’m not sure if it will be better. There will be fewer restrictions in my part, and I hold my life’s clock then! I have all the time in the world; I have the freedom to do anything, with nothing to worry about in life.

But here I am, full of worries on my unstable grades, and full of nervousness every time our teacher is going to announce the rankings.

Like a mountain climber, I have reached the summit. But deep inside, I want to do something else. But since I started out mountain climbing, and become great on it., I have to conquer all the peaks in the world. And every time I reach the summit, I scream, “WHY?”

May 7, 2009

Mute-folded (poem)

Sometimes, we can’t take to keep our silence. We want to speak, but there is great danger in speaking. Silence is safety, but speech gives us the relief. This poem is a written scream, amidst a world where stillness is a necessity.

Mute-folded is actually a word I coined from the word blind-folded, which I define as a case of being unable to speak because something is preventing it to. :) hope you appreciate my humble work of art. Haha :lol:


This culture is a veil
That keeps my mouth covered
And where speech once prevailed
All tongues are now severed
I, who had my vocals,
Can’t speak of what is right
Never was I enthralled
For freedom sleeps at night.

A warrior in a barque
Against a mighty ship
Fighting the great white shark,
A goldfish in the deep
A cretin to debate
An educated man
Tragedy is their fate
May life swiftly be done

I am born with my tongue
To say things and make noise
To scream “yipee’s” and “bang’s”
To talk things of my choice
But when a gunshot fires
Why should I be silent?
Just let my words expire
And hide in teguments?

When I speak for my own
I risk great ridicule
Everything, I’ll disown
For that’s against the rule
When these rules are not right
When these things suppress you
Who will be there to fight,
To make things good and true?

Yes, I am very scared
To scream out my own heart
For If this thoughts to share
My life will soon depart
A bullet in my chest
An arrow in my head
Suffer the bloodiest
Or keep silent instead

Speak those great words, oh speak!
For someone is listening
Speak! Don’t say you’re weak!
It’s your right of speaking!
Lugubrious, indeed!
Inequality’s here.
Speak and no one will heed
Except for guns and spears!

My two eyes are not blind
But a part of me’s dead
My tongue just can’t speak
And I am mute-folded
The cloth is my weakness
The knot is the people
My fear gives it tightness
And pure silence to all.

May 1, 2009

Love Defined (poem)

My love is not a sham;
It is nothing but true.
You feel it in my arms,
My touch spells love to you
You are a part of mine
Not just an equipment.
You’re my poems every line;
You are all flowers’ scent.

My love is not assigned;
It will seek by itself.
It’s looking for the sign,
A bright spark from myself.
Love doesn’t grow on text
Nor on Friendster accounts;
Love doesn’t crave for sex
Nor shining bank accounts

My love is not a game;
It is not child’s play.
My love is not for fame;
It is not for high pays.
When in this crazy world,
True love becomes erased,
Get hold of my hand, girl,
We’ll put back the lost grace.

I never ask a girl,
“Can you be my girlfriend?”
When I first knew her world
On the last ten seconds.
I never boast the word
That I am all alone,
And even more absurd
“Need girls to be my own”.

True love comes before need;
It is not a statement,
It is a call you heed;
Not a forced commitment.
Having girlfriends are cool
As society portrays.
Behold! You are so fooled!
Love is not your own say.

A true love doesn’t count
All the days, months and years;
It is not on amounts
That true love becomes clear.
The thoughts do make it true
As corny as it seems,
Not the sent “I Love You’s”
Or great valentine schemes.

And lastly I would say,
My love is permanent.
Break my heart everyday
Or scream discouragements,
I would still call you “Mine”
For you still have my heart,
All the stars, you outshine
You fill my missing part.