I'd like to know where a link leads to before clicking on it; may be a small tooltip, like someone else in this thread suggested. This would avoid things like "Oh I didn't really expect a video here" to "Oops, my coworker would have thought I opened that NSFW website intentionally".
Sure, this is not a complete solution (there are videos in sites other than Youtube, Metacafe, etc., and NSFW content in just too many websites), but would help in very many cases.
Actually I'm surprised not so many people are concerned about the security implications of having opaque URLs (there's been a lot of talk about this recently, but very little action AFAIK).
I've been thinking about this lately and thought a Firefox extension might be of help. I was just planning to shake off my laziness and learn about how to make an extension so I could make this one.
It could do caching. That would be nice in case a shortener went down.
If it did caching, it would also act as a proxy. That would be nice if I decided to build a greasemonkey script/firefox add-on to automatically unshorten things; I wouldn't necessarily ping the counters attached to every shortened URL that loads with a page.
I like the way of the tinyURL API better - you simply get the new URL in the body of the response. Otherwise, I am not sure it is easier to parse the XML response from unshort.me than to simply resolve the redirections directly.
(unshort.me, I hope you don't mind me plugging it here - if you do, let me know (email's in the profile) and I'll delete this comment. Looks like we're about to have as many unshortening sites as shortening ones, at this rate :)
This is simple service that let you un-shorten URLs created using any of the URL shortening services.
I thought it might be useful to create a single place to un-shorten URLs. I know some of you are tired of hearing about another URL service, but it works with all of the shortening websites such as TinyURL, bit.ly, tr.im, even with Hapylink and others.
Are you saving the urls after someone requests one to be lengthened? It could act as a backup if one of the shorteners went down. Maybe one of the firefox extension developers that expand urls could use your saved urls in that case.