URL Shortening: A Quick Peek

Since I have started using Twitter (see my twitter posts to the right) I have had to learn to live with 140 character messages. Quite a feat for me since I am struggling to keep my blog posts to 500 words or less. 😉

Rating:  4 WaterTowers (perfect for the Twitter generation)

Looking at my Twitter posts you see that some of the URL’s (addresses to web sites) are shortened (and look like heiroglyphics).

This is “URL shortening”.

If you have a very long URL and want to put it in Twitter, an email, or other location it may page break or take the whole message allotment. One solution is to shorten it.

Example

The Tracy Press ran an article on the TracyVirtualOffice.  Here is the unshortened URL:

http://www.tracypress.com/pages/full_story?page_label=our_town&article-A%20haven%20for%20telecommuters%20=&id=2737477-A+haven+for+telecommuters&widget=push&instance=stories_lead_story_left_column&open=&

Yikes!

Here are some shortened versions using several of the URL shortening sites I will give you links to below (click on them to try it):

http://tinyurl.com/pey8b8

http://bit.ly/q83up

http://ow.ly/ksPf

Very impressive!

Advantages

  • Shortened URL’s
  • Some site offer hit statistics (see pic)
  • Millions to Billions of URL’s can be shortened depending on algorithm
Bitly Stats Page
Bitly Stats Page

Disadvantages

  • If a shortening location goes under…the links can be lost
  • Privacy issues may pop up since the URL click info is gathered (but, maybe you are cool with that….I am).
  • You may not know where you are clicking off to….arrrgh.  (Thanks to Phil!)

In short, you can choose the shortening tool that fits your needs the best.

NOTE:  If you are Twitter user, it seems like bit.ly is automatically used.

Links

Here are a couple of WikiPedia links that go into more detail.

On URL Shortening

On Tiny URL an early shortener

Here are the links to the shorteners I used in the example:

TinyURL.com

Bit Ly

Ow Ly

They are very easy to use and many have special plug-ins for IE and Firefox.  Since I have moved on to Google Chrome, I did not see plug-in yet for that, but, maybe I just missed it.

Happy Shortening!  🙂

Oh….http://TracyVirtualOffice.com  is:  http://bit.ly/HQadd

One more thing…Wordpress (home for this blog) has a new URL shortening tool for blog entries.  This blog entry, shortened, is URL:  (hmmm, let me work on that, hey…it’s new for them and for me 🙂

Sheri:  Tried just ctrl-c and then ctrl-a then crtl-c :  URL:  URL:

I had to write it down (I could not copy and paste using Chrome):  http://wp.me/poEU1-hr

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