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I really dislike these abbreviated URL services. I prefer a moderately sized and human readable one. I always type URLs into my address bar, also.

I'm with you. Recently I've seen people Twittering about Twiddla with tinyurl'd links that are actually longer than the domain name. It's just silly.

I think that SEO is really making things worse for URLs. Remember 4 years ago, when "The URL was the New Command Line"? And it was considered a feature that you could look at a URL like http://site.com/user/3916 and hack it to get similar pages for other users? Can't do that with http://yoursite.com/this_was_an_article_that_i_wrote.

Seems like a step backwards.

As long as that's your stated preference, can I interest you in http://look.fo/hacker-news or http://str8.to/hacker-news

I built these a while back but they haven't seemed to pick up traction. str8.to uses google's "i'm feeling lucky" - vanity urls without having to go register them.

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