Admin Kurt Naber and I attempted to implement the Lounge's new "tiny URL" feature over the weekend. Some aspects of this functionality did not work, so we undid most of our steps. One leftover artifact, which will be revised within 24 hours, is that the Lounge now shows a subdirectory called /topic/ instead of the old showtopic= query string. All old links automatically redirect to the new-style links.

Even this format will be shortened once more in the next few hours. No further improvements will then be needed to the URL structure for the foreseeable future.

Getting the structure into its final form is essential before we start allowing Google to index the Lounge pages on Dec. 2 or so. There's no sense in putting pages in the index and then changing the URLs.

Sorry for the inconvenience. More on this to come.