One of the most interesting companies in New York these days is bit.ly. The service seems simple at first: it a makes long URLs into shorter ones. But in doing that at scale, bit.ly channels massive amounts of data about what users are creating, reading and sharing.
Today the company announced a partnership with Verisign, which, per the release we saw, “operates two of the Internet’s root nameservers and much of the web’s DNS infrastructure. If there’s a single company that qualifies as the steward of the internet, it’s Verisign.”
Data scientists from both companies will work together to answer the sort of metaphysical puzzlers that were once the reserved for astrophysicists. “Scientists at both companies are already poring over volumes of DNS resolution data–data that will help us answer fundamental (and fundamentally awesome) questions like: “what actually are the most popular websites on the internet?” and “just how big is the internet, anyhow?”
The basic takeaway: Verisign gets a foot in the burgeoning world of short links, which sit outside their traditional expertise. Bit.ly gets closer to the DNS resolution data. The full release is on their blog for y’all to geek out on.