Since announcing the launch of expandUrl and fixing the few bugs that cropped up in the first week or so, I have barely given the service a second thought. The API works incredibly well for my own sites which take advantage of it.
Today, after receiving a report that the service was unavailable last night, I took another look at it. Still not sure why it went down, but while I was working on it I've added some basic logging (for troubleshooting purposes) and looked around the internet to see if people are using the service.
Since logging was never included in the first place, the only way to surface a reasonable count of URLs was to count the cache files. Since cache files are programatically deleted, I was pretty shocked to find over 11,000 files in that directory. Now that I have actually logging in place, the site displays a counter. Today's count? 11,411 URLs expanded!
Of course, people only know about the service because of the folks who have helped spread the word about it! Thank you to all these folks for mentioning expandUrl:
- Blog Brasil Academico "If you prefer a cleaner and more free advertising try expandurl.com."
- Troy Sabin "The Yang to the URL shortener Yin - URL expanders"
- Free Nuts #2 in their top ten URL expanders list!
- Borrowed Code Mentioned as part of a blog entry about fighting Twitter spam.
- Benny Chen "After failing to find a good solution, a short address before the humble beginning to run out to restore the service; Can only say that a group of prescient people, ah!"
- Kate Morris "There is another useful tool available - http://www.expandurl.com - it shows you not only where it goes, but how many times it is redirected and how. :) Not my tool, but a friend built it."
Finally, I discovered a Google Code project that integrates the expandurl API into Google Chrome. This is very cool to me, as it means the service will be used by lots of folks (even if they don't know they're using it!). :)
Not too shabby for 221 days in. ;)