Lately, all my primary technology news sources have been polluted with articles about Twitter and other realted url shortening services. A part of my dies inside every time I hear about one of these. I can understand the hype about Twitter, but the only reason there is a hype about URL shortening is because of Twitter.
I have an open suggestion to Twitter that would benefit them, their user base, and hopefully kill the URL Shortening market space in one go (so it would be one less thing to pollute my daily tech news with).
Twitter: implement your own shortening service and integrate it with the service. There is #hashtags, and there is @mentions. Using the same convention and use either ! % ^ implement URL redirection. For example
Hey @person, go check out^s89n3
If a user wants to shorten the url janitha.com, the service would map that url to a code such as "1a2b3c". Now if a user enters ^1a2b3c, it links directly to the original URL (or links to something like http://www.twitter.com/redir/1a2b3c that redirects to the correct place). It's really trivial, everyone and their grandmother is implementing URL Shortening services, so I am sure Twitter can spare a fraction of their millions in funding to implement this simple feature.