Random Tip No.226: URL Shorteners
“Using URL Shorteners to Make Link Sharing Less Painful”

PROBLEM:

You want to send someone the link to a fabulously exciting webpage you’ve discovered. but the URL [or web address for the uninitiated] is far too long to remember… or perhaps you want to send it as a text message. 

Imagine for example you’ve just spotted an ideal outfit for the office christmas party on ebay and want to share it with a friend. Here’s a typical ebay link:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELVIS-JUMPSUIT-TURQUOISE-VINE-PROFFESIONAL-BELT-CAPE-/190498555796?pt=Adult_Fancy_Dress_UK&hash=item2c5a994794

Fancy trying to type that into a text message or tell it to someone and expect them to remember it? Me neither!

ANSWER:

Use a URL shortener.  There are a shitload of these about.  My own personal favourite is TinyURL, mainly because;

Simply go to tinyurl.com and paste your ridiculously long web address into the supplied form.  You can then either; click on the ‘Make TinyURL’ button to generate a random URL for you [which although shorter might still be hard to remember, as it’ll be something like tinyurl.com/542gwfcv] or –my preferred option– use the ‘Custom Alias’ box to make up your own URL:

Obviously this second option involves a bit more thought, as you’ll have to try and come up with a URL which disnae already exist. If it does, you’ll have to try, try and try again.

Once you’ve come up with an original custom URL, you just click the ‘Make tinyURL’ button and you’re done:

So there you have it. I’ve now set up my own custom short url: _ http://tinyurl.com/wearifyoudare_ which is easy for folks to remember and also quick & easy to text or email.  I can give it out to people and when they go to that link in their browser, they’ll automatically be redirected to the longwinded URL I shortened: _ http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELVIS-JUMPSUIT-TURQUOISE-VINE-PROFFESIONAL-BELT-CAPE-/190498555796?pt=Adult_Fancy_Dress_UK&hash=item2c5a994794_

Try it quick before someone else buys it!

http://tinyurl.com/wearifyoudare

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