Jim Kukral and I went back and forth over the service on last week’s GeekCast. Basically, my point is that Joel’s service doesn’t add much for users besides the vanity factor. I argued that bit.ly is a much much better product, has an API, and is more robust for serious users who don’t need the ego stroking.
But this morning, after trying to blog about Joel’s Twitter study in the previous post, I realized something else that is a deal-breaker for me when it comes to TwitPwr:
Once someone uses TwitPwr to link to a post or site from Twitter, you can’t get the original URL of the site. The TwitPwr wrap or frame stays on top of the site. And the TwitPwr wrap or frame stays with you whereever you go past that point (until you close that Tab or Window). So, whether you’re blogging or passing on the link, you’re stuck with the TwitPwr shortened URL if you’re clicking around. Not cool.
That might be kosher for a few of you, but for most affiliate marketers, that could be a big deal since the URL has a great deal to do with conversions in terms of link names.
On the other hand, bit.ly immediately drops off after it does its original job… shortening the linked URL from Twitter or an email or a post, etc.
Not to mention, bit.ly has a very nice API. That’s a big difference.
If Joel is going to keep pushing TwitPwr and if influential people in the affiliate marketing space are going to use the service, I hope they are aware of this pretty serious flaw in the service. Otherwise, this is more MLM than affiliate marketing.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Joel. He’s a nice guy and I consider him a pal. However, I also have a big place in my heart for Twitter and have to speak up when I see goofy things like this happening.
The TwitPwr “How It Works” page includes this language:
WHAT IS TRUE TWITTER POWER?
Is it really the number of followers you have, or is the ability to get your followers to Take Action?
When you use the TwitPwr short url service, we track the number of clicks that you drive via the Twitter API, and give your account a Power Rating.
Your Power Rating is not only the unique traffic that you generate, but it’s also based on how many Twitter users you refer to our service.
Those referrals you generate will also play apart in driving even more traffic to your site.. Stay Tuned!
If that is Twitter Power, then blessed are the meek.
I’m sticking with bit.ly for my url shortening and spreading needs.