URL shortening service tr.im is going open source. That’s right – after a week in which they first were planning to go kaput, then got resurrected – this week Eric Woodward, the guy behind tr.im is planning to set it all free.
It’s a stroke of pure genius.
The plan is for the code to be licensed under the MIT open source license and the tr.im name and its associated URLs are being donated to the community. The plan is for all this to happen by September 15th.
“It is our hope that tr.im, being an excellent URL shortener in its own
right, can now begin to stand in contrast to the closed twitter/bit.ly
walled garden: it will become a completely open solution owned and
operated by the community for the benefit of the entire community,” Woodward blogged.
Woodward has also pledged to bankroll the tech infrastructure behind tr.im so that existing services will be maintained.
For whatever reason, Woodward has not been able to monetize tr.im. With the source code behind tr.im in open source i would not be surprised if a service organization doesn’t build a tr.im based service and charge for service and support.
In fact with tr.im free and open, I would not be surprised if it became the basis for a dozen or more new services come September of October of this year.
Woodward could have just let tr.im die.
Instead he decided to set it free. Time will prove whether or not this is a stroke of genius (as I think) or just another guy throwing code over the wall to see what will happen.