We've just launched a new website this morning called bk.ly that is designed to serve two purposes: 1) As URL shorteners become a ubiquitous part of the Internet experience, it makes sense to have some kind of local identity to the shortened web addresses, especially in the case of Brooklyn where local pride runs thick; 2) Twitter also provides a powerful way to collect and rank local news. The way site works is pretty simple: If you tweet a link that's been shortened using the bk.ly URL shortener, it'll automatically show up in the site's Tweet stream; likewise, if you append any Tweet with the hashtag #bknews, it will also show up in the stream. The latter will hopefully be used widely for mobile Tweets like "three-car accident at Fulton and South Oxford #bknews". We've also got a Most Popular widget on the site to track which links have been Tweeted the most. (This will soon be available for any bloggers to embed on their own sites.) Within the next couple of weeks, you'll be able to log into the site with your Twitter username and Tweet directly from bk.ly while tracking the click-through performance of your links. It's very much an experiment so we look forward to specific suggestions to make it more useful and user-friendly.
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