Tr.im is back to shortening URLs

On Sunday we reported that Vancouver’s Tr.im was getting out of the URL shortening business. Well… they’ve changed their minds and resurrected the service.

We have restored tr.im, and re-opened its website. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive.

We have answered those pleas. Nambu will keep tr.im operating going forward, indefinitely, while we continue to consider our options in regards to tr.im’s future.

The folks behind tr.im still maintain that Twitter has stacked the URL shortening overwhelmingly in bit.ly’s favour and given them a monopoly position that cannot be challenged.

This is a basic reality of challenging monopolies. bit.ly has deep personal connections and agreements with Twitter that we simply cannot compete with. And it is our humble opinion that this type of favoritism will become an issue for all Twitter developers.

Earlier today Vancouver’s Nambu Network announced that they are shutting down their tr.im URL shortener by the end of the year. Why? Because their attempts to sell the service have been unsuccessful.

tr.im is now in the process of discontinuing service, effective immediately.

Statistics can no longer be considered reliable, or reliably available going forward.
However, all tr.im links will continue to redirect, and will do so until at least December 31, 2009.
Your tweets with tr.im URLs in them will not be affected.

We regret that it came to this, but all of our efforts to avoid it failed.
No business we approached wanted to purchase tr.im for even a minor amount.

There is no way for us to monetize URL shortening — users won’t pay for it — and we just can’t
justify further development since Twitter has all but annointed bit.ly the market winner.
There is simply no point for us to continue operating tr.im, and pay for its upkeep.

We apologize for the disruption and inconvenience this may cause you.

Not surprisingly this has the web talking about what Nambu might be up to. Is this simply a ploy for publicity to sell tr.im?? Or is the best way to ‘monetize’ a URL shortener to simply sell the domain name (and all the incoming traffic) to a spammer or speculator?

Tr.im is run by Vancouver-raised tech entrepreneurs Eric Woodward and Gersham Meharg. Woodward has owned his fair share of domain names via MyInternet.com, CES Marketing, and DomainWorks over the years and certainly understands the second option.