URL shorteners: What’s bad for is good for, one of the many services that allows web surfers to shorten URLs, announced that it would close its doors yesterday. In the interim, a debate about the utility of shorteners and how dangerous it is to depend on these tiny companies that may or may not exist in a year has arisen.

It’s the nature of the online world that tech start ups come and go. But shorteners have become an important part of the social web. And one thing seems clear.’s demise is great for competitor