there's a big rush to start the be-all-end-all url shortner... but really, do you really need it? does it really add value? it's great for twitter, but it's really useless for everything else. i'm not sure if anyone cares if my URL is less than 140 characters unless it's in a tweet.
twitter could release a paid upgrade for an unlimited character count. wouldn't that be nice? as an unpaid user, you could only view 140 characters. as a paid viewer, you can read the entire message. this would probably make twitter more useful... and they'd make $$. eventually 140 characters will be obsolete.
btw, i was playing around today and found out that it's possible to "shorten" a tinyurl URL. they shouldn't allow this... this totally breaks the user experience of this system. plus, someone could crash their server if they wrote a simple script.
in fact, why would i want to shorten an already shortened URL? i could technically grab an ow.ly URL, squish it with tinyurl, and then try squishing it again with bit.ly. i know this is a corner case, but the whole idea of tinyurls is silly. it only serves twitter. i only like them b/c i like twitter. the question is, will these URL shortners become obsolete if twitter bites the dust in the future?