API Contest: Shorten URLs, Win Prizes

Kevin Farnham, January 21st, 2009, the impressive URL shortening service with a wide range of features, announced a the API mashup contest last week. The contest offers a netbook computer and a VIP pass to the Shorty Awards ceremony to the winner. Two runner-up winners will receive a VIP pass to the Shorty Awards ceremony. All developers who submit valid entries will receive some “shwag.” More details on our Mashup Contests Guide.

So what are the rules? Contestants must use’s new API to “do something interesting, useful, unique, or that enables others to more easily use the API.” Entries are posted as comments to the contest announcement blog post. The API provides capabilities to shorten long URLs, expand URLs to their original source URL, and get information and traffic and referrer statistics about URLs.

Marshall Kirkpatrick reviewed and was very enthusiastic about the capabilities the service offers:, a new URL shortening service from the innovation network Betaworks, is launching today with a staggering feature set for both end users and forward-looking developers. We’ve been waiting for a more intelligent URL shortening service to hit the market but even in our most ambitious visions we haven’t seen something like this coming… saves a cached copy forever of every page you shorten a link to, on Amazon’s S3 storage… In the background, is analyzing all of the pages that its users create shortcuts to using the Open Calais semantic analysis API from Reuters!

What to build? The team provides some ideas to get you started:

  • A blog plugin
  • A bookmarklet
  • A Twitter bot
  • An Outlook plugin
  • Client Libraries for various languages (PHP, Ruby, Python, Lua, etc). See JS api for an example:
  • Amusing implementations for obscure platforms
  • Novel or 1337 uses of to track, manage, or share content offers a REST API and a Javascript Client API. The purpose of the JavaScript client API is to facilitate development of applications that interface with the primary REST API. Authentication in the REST API is via HTTP Basic Authentication. Data can be transferred using JSON or XML formats.

The API documentation is complete, and provides examples for all of the API methods. See our API profile for more information about the API. Our Calais API profile provides an overview of the semantic analysis tool applies to analyze the pages for which users are making short-cut URLs.

If you’re interested, now is the time to develop your app: the contest ends on January 28.

Tags: Contests
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6 Responses to “ API Contest: Shorten URLs, Win Prizes”

January 21st, 2009
at 1:48 pm
Comment by: sreenivas – Ubiquity Mashup command for ubiquity

January 21st, 2009
at 4:25 pm
Comment by: rascunho » Blog Archive » links for 2009-01-21

[...] API Contest: Shorten URLs, Win Prizes The contest offers a netbook computer and a VIP pass to the Shorty Awards ceremony to the winner. (tags: 2009 mes0 dia21 concurso evento Bit.Ly api webservices) [...]

January 24th, 2009
at 1:01 pm
Comment by: JBroFuzz 1.2 Released | Lifedork

[...] API Contest: Shorten URLs, Win Prizes [...]

February 19th, 2009
at 1:46 pm
Comment by: Using the and Twitter API | Dreaming Of Beetles

[...] a bit as to how powerful these simple services can be once the internals are exposed. ran an API contest and some of the entrant applications will blow your mind. A simple URL shortener can produce so [...]

April 3rd, 2009
at 9:32 pm
Comment by: Thoughts on URL shorteners «

[...] API Contest: Shorten URLs, Win Prizes ( [...]

December 15th, 2011
at 11:27 am
Comment by: Hauskreditrechner

Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated. Haus Kreditrechner

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