It serves to Google’s credit that existing goo.gl redirects will remain (for the time being…), but this is just another in a seemingly list of tales that all boil down to: You can’t trust Google with this sort of thing.
Seriously, though, I see what Zeldman is getting at. I just go the other way myself. I want to collect this stuff here, just as he seems to advice1. And also, I think he is putting more into it than it deserves. Yes, people might be storing information elsewhere than at their own sites, but, and this is something Jeffrey points out himself, it could as well be due to convenience. He says:
Like nearly everyone, I outsource discoverable, commentable photography to Flickr.com instead of designing my own photo gallery like my gifted colleagues Douglas Bowman and Todd Dominey.
Using Flickr might be a matter of taking the easy way out, more than anything else. Likewise with using ma.gnolia or del.icio.us — they can seem easier to approach, than to set up your own personal publishing engine to handle it.
Twitter is the only thing that does not fit into this. And in this, Jeffrey might have a point; it is easier to write something that should just be 140 characters, than something that should be substantially longer. But hey, that is why I have notes. Furthermore, people seem to have fundamentally misunderstood Twitter. Very few answer the question Twitter asks; I have a Twitter account, which I have updated a grand total of 9 times — one of which did not answer the question. I personally find Twitter useless, and I cannot see why you would go and use Twitter instead of implementing some sort of custom category to you own blog.
Anyway, I do not think a centralised brand is crucial to maintaining the value of said brand — I think it could well be a consequence of laziness. I personally store links the way I do, because I find it gives me more flexibility — people storing theirs at ma.gnolia might find it is easier. We all have different needs and priorities, but I think centralisation is and should be of lesser importance. As long as you make all your decentralised entities available, you should be home free.
I have one big exception to this rule: I still store my personal playlist at Last.fm. I can explain this, however: Last.fm has the kind of functionality I would never dream of storing manually, and as such, it would not make sense to duplicate it here. Uploading playlist information is an automatic process, storing links is not. ↩