Saturday, 26 November 2011

here and there #1 [I ♥ shorties]

[via nanos]

Here and there awakes in the middle of some thinking about short URL's and how to use them.

The short URL function has born in 2001 as an idea which came to reality one year after with TinyURL. Twitter adopted the system and several other similar websites to Tiny were created. Nowadays, Twitter uses bitly to shorten their URL's (since 2009).

However this function has more possibilities than just make a link shorter. I'll make a list of its utilities:

Aesthetic: a short URL is more pleasurable to look at;

Ecologic: if you'll print a document with a link on it, you'll save ink;

Memorable: few characters are easier to remember;

Statistics: you can track how many people clicked your link;

Identity: you can create a namespace with your own domain.

But, with so many URL shortening services (+90!), which one should I chose? I'd go for bitly or They have all the functionalities above and let you use their services in your own blog. bitly even installs a button in your browser so it's easier to use it. You don't have to type the short URL address, copy the link you desire and then shorten it. You just copy the link and there you go: a window appears with your shorten URL. They know how lazy we are.

And you, do you shorten your URLs? Will you start doing it?

Note: short URL history was taken from Wikipedia.

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