Interestingly, the examples he gave of good URIs (e.g., http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1998/nsf9814/nsf9814.htm) are still working 12 years later, while the bad ones are broken (e.g., http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/pubsys/browser/odbrowse.pl).
Do a Google search for any hobby, fictional universe, sports team and see how many pages it takes you to find a "geocities" type of site.
There are tons of users on tumblr and flickr which are passionate about photos. Such photo sites were very rare in the old web.
Blogger, Wordpress and YouTube has a lot of passionate amateurs posting high-quality content. asymco.com is a passionate amateur who provides better content than the professional media.
The old amateur web required users to do everything, including design. Most people can't design well (e.g. choose colors that fit well together). So most people ended up with creating square wheels or "see my 'leet skillz" designs.
The old web was a small village: very small selection of shops, but you knew all of them. The new web is a huge city: shops for everything under the sun, the problem is finding out which shop that sells the stuff you want to buy.
Sites that maintain their own shorteners for their own content are really the only acceptable exception, and even then it's still an extra thing that can break.
Several of my customers have been listed on the SBL because they ran unauthenticated URL shorteners, and of course, those shorteners were used to get around anti-spam URL blacklists.
Considering that no URL shortener I know of will actually let you change the underlying URL it points to, unless the hosting service decides to change what the underlying URL actually points to (tsk tsk), the shortener is pretty much a canonical pointer to that data, despite the fact that the hash doesn't often give much information about the underlying data.
Also: see http://www.301works.org
- rn.tl / lensrentals.com
And to be honest, those 7 shorteners aren't exactly big fish in the URL shortener business.
Despite claiming otherwise, bit.ly hasn't uploaded a single short url to 301Works yet.
Every company I have worked at with legacy sites to port/maintain have yet to allocate any resources to this problem. No matter how often I suggest it. Now we have a great reference for our bosses and selling to clients of the importance of it.
But speaking of preserving old link structures, would you suggest a strategy for doing so?
In the case of changing structure wholesale, it was as simple as setting up `RewriteRule ^/blog/\d+/\d+/(.+)$ /blog/$1 [L,R=301]`
In previous cases, I had to get a lot more specific; eg. articles with the same title would have different generated URLs depending on the blog software, so I would need to handle that as a redirect as well.