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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I used to blog more frequently about working at Go Daddy. My silence has not externally imposed, I can assure you. The dearth of entries is the result of working a lot.

When I last discussed my job, I was working with the Social Media Team. I'm still doing that stuff—I do the Fan-Only Content regularly—but my work life mostly revolves around Go Daddy's URL shortener X.CO.

When I first started working on the product, I held URL shortening in very low regard—mostly because of this blog entry by Joshua Schachter. But I've really come around to see the value in them:

  • They can act like a domain name where a domain name isn't possible. For example, I can point to my wife's Etsy shop and she can use that in her printed materials. It's really very convenient.
  • They really do save characters on Twitter. Many times, the shortness of my X.CO links have let me just write without the constant re-editing necessary for full URLs and longer URL shortener's links.
  • They can actually combat linkrot, so long as the business providing the URL shortening isn't going anywhere. (Go Daddy, in this regard, is very committed to X.CO.)
  • Modern URL shorteners do malware and phishing checks on every click. This limits the reach of the bad guys, though sometimes something still gets through.
  • You can see what traffic your Twitter sharing generates. It's nice to see people clicking on the things you want them to.

I have had a blast working on X.CO, working with some really great people and doing some of the most challenging, innovative development I've ever done. I have learned so much about memcached, parallel programming, jQuery, and multithreading in meeting the needs of a growing user base. (And shutting down the bad guys that want to undermine it all.)

[The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]