Educational Technology

November 20, 2011

The Web’s Crystal Ball Gets an Upgrade

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

By Jim Giles, Technology Review

Thousands of people every day use the link-shortening service Bitly to tame unwieldy Web links to share on Twitter and other social media sites. Few realize that they’re simultaneously helping the New York company peer into the Web’s future. Bitly analyzes the pages pointed to by the 80 million short links it generates every day to predict changes in the public’s attitude toward people and companies. Now Bitly is set to get access to a slew of new data that could make its Web crystal ball even better at forecasting the future. Bitly has reached a data-sharing agreement with VeriSign, based in Dulles, Virginia. VeriSign acts as a kind of telephone directory for the Internet. Any address typed into a browser is sent to servers at VeriSign or one of a handful of other organizations, which help turn that URL into a numerical address that a computer can use to find the Web page it needs.

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