What’s the Deal with zi.ma and kl.am?
Most people have heard of zi.ma, a URL shortening service by Martin Bowling. Martin was hosting zi.ma on the server of a mutual friend.
There were times in the recent past when zi.ma went down. At least once or twice, we helped fix zi.ma for Martin for free and because we wanted to help him and we really liked his service.
Martin then became unable to maintain the website, because of personal reasons and left zi.ma in the hands of our mutual friend. This mutual friend decided that he didn’t want to host zi.ma anymore (for personal reasons), not too mention it was very costly to host it and it needed work to maintain it.
Long before this occurred, we’ve had plans to make our own URL shortener. We mainly wanted it to enhance several tools that we are building into Raven. We also planned to make it public with it’s own brand, which we recently did.
Shortly after launching kl.am, this mutual friend told us that he was shutting down the server that had zi.ma on it. It was communicated to us that there were NO plans to move or keep the zi.ma service working anywhere. At the time we were contacted, the site and service were already out of commission.
We agreed to take the database and convert it to work with kl.am so zi.ma links could continue to work. It was our understanding that if we didn’t do this, zi.ma would no longer exist and all of the links would remain broken. So we decided it was best for everyone, including Martin, to go ahead and help him keep those links alive, but through our service. So that’s what we did.
There are key things to take away from this:
1. At our own cost and for the betterment of the community, we chose to help keep the zi.ma links functional.
2. The kl.am code is COMPLETELY different and unique from the zi.ma code. We did not take or steal any code that Martin wrote.
3. zi.ma and it’s links redirect to kl.am because we have no other place to direct it to.
4. We are willing to do anything Martin wants us to do with the data, short of running his service for him. If he wants us to disable the links, we will. If he wants the data, he has it. We’re willing to help him out in any way.
We are good guys who are just trying to help out. We didn’t mean to harm zi.ma, Martin or anyone else. We’ve helped him out before and we thought we were helping him out this time. However, for some reason we’re quickly getting demonized for making his links continue to work, when as far as we knew, zi.ma had become unsupported and not functional.