Sunday, January 13, 2008

Life is Easier with Shorter URLs


I want to share an article from Businessweek that describes the best releases from the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

This is easy, right?

Just find the article on the web and then copy the URL to an email or blog post for you to use.

Here's one we can use . . .
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/01/0111_ces/source/1.htm?technology+slideshows&technology+slideshows

HUH? What is this address? It's as long as my arm and twice as hairy. It's running off the page. How many times have you pasted a long URL into an email to send to your friend and the end was cut off? Lots, eh

What's a guy to do?

Enter the URL ECONOMIZERS!!!!! Imagine a magical website that will take that mammoth URL and chop it down to a URL Mini-me . These websites are actually huge databases that generate a string of characters that they connect with your inserted URL.


http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/01/0111_ces/source/1.htm?technology+slideshows&technology+slideshows

Turns into

http://tinyurl.com/ypva6q

I would imagine that if that address is already in their database, that it will economize their work by just providing you with the link they created earlier.

Who are the URL Economizers?

TinyURL is the first one I ever found. It is easy to use. You can simply copy the URL, go to TinyURL.com and paste the link into the URL box on their page. It will create a TinyURL that you can use. BUT the REAL benefit of TinyURL.com is when you place the TinyURL link in your browser's tool bar. THEN, all that you have to do is go to your desired website and then click on the new link in your toolbar. It will immediately take you to their website with the TinyURL link already waiting for you to use.

SnipURL (or SNURL) is another one that I have found. It does the economizes URLs BUT it also copies the new address directly to your clipboard. This cuts out the copy and paste process that you need with TinyURL. It means that you just copy the huge URL into the URL box, snipit, and then paste it directly into your email or blog or ?? where you need it. The best part is that if you place a SNURL link in your browser's tool bar, it will automatically create the URL and place it into your clipboard without you even going to the SnipURL website. I love the feature but I don't understand the business model because these companies make their money on the Google Ads they have on their websites. The more times you visit the website, the more money they make.

I would assume that there are a number of other URL economizers on the web. If you know of one, leave a comment so that I can share it with our readers.

VERY INTERESTING NOTE!!!!!! I just realized something about URL economizers and Twittering. I just sent out a long URL on Twitterrific (the interface software for Twitter that I use on my Mac) and it came back as a TinyURL address. That means that the software is smart enough to run long URLs through the economizer to save on space. SOO SMART!!!!

Have a great day and remember - Economize!

Dr. Z





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