Monday, August 17, 2009


Guest Item compiled by Ed Lee.
There’s nothing worse than a sore loser. No matter whether it is in business, in sport or at home with the family playing Trivial Pursuit we need to be able to lose gracefully, to thank our supporters and to congratulate the winners. Over the weekend, the Canadian URL shortening service, which had been created to allow users to easily share and track their links on Twitter, declared it was shutting down. Unfortunately, in the online world, start-ups can emerge and disappear at the speed of light so this is not a new development. I was a huge supporter and frequent user of as I share a lot of links through my Twitter account (find me as @edlee) but the tone of the announcement left a bad taste in my mouth. Instead of thanking their (frequently passionate) users for their support and exiting gracefully,’s team went down blaming everyone. From their users, who wouldn’t pay for their service, to the ecosystem that they joined in providing services for the Twitter platform and to Twitter itself, the very service was born to complement. Their post read, in part “Twitter has all but sapped us of any last energy to double-down and develop further. What is the point? With the Twitter default, and with us having no inside connection to Twitter, will lose over the long-run no matter how good it may or may not be at this moment, or in the future.” As much as I really enjoyed the service, I must give a fumble – however painful – for the way they handled this communication. Clearly the team was frustrated at the prospect of failure but this sort of mudslinging in communications wins you very few friends. This story does have a happy ending however. Based on feedback from their supporters, is back in business.

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