Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Top 5 URL Shorteners

Ever since the rise of Twitter, we have seen the mushrooming of websites offering to squeeze in a typically long web address into a compact one. Take for example, the 'longest URL' such as [http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/wearejustdoingthistobestupidnowsincethiscangoonforeverandeverandeverbutitstilllookskindaneatinthebrowsereventhoughitsabigwasteoftimeandenergyandhasnorealpointbutwehadtodoitanyways.html].

The shortened version of it is using is.gd is a whopping 93% shorter in the form of http://is.gd/9bRD2. Here are my Top 5 URL shortcuts. There are all chosen because they are 6 characters or less. A 'dot' counts as a character. Short URLs are extremely useful for at least two reasons. First, they easily fit into a Twitter message that has a restricted 140 characters per tweet. Second, they are easier to remember. Usually just remembering the website (eg tr.im) plus a 5 or 6 letter encrypted word. Below are 5 that I use.

1) bit.ly
I like this for its sheer speed and simplicity. If you create an account and use it to shorten, it serves as a repository for all your past URLs shortened. Easy to remember, this is fast and easy to use.

2) is.gd
This is another favourite. I like the way it gives me the statistics on how much the URL was shortened. Looking like a clean sheet, it resembles Google search engine. Programmers will find a delight to use as it can be used as a Firefox addon.

3) tr.im
The name itself is a sheer winner. However, it is average as far as speed is concerned. It is twitter ready.
 
4) cli.gs
This is another popular one. It sounds like the word 'clicks' and is intuitive. The main disadvantage is that users need to click to another page before entering the URL. Most of the rest, you can do it at the first page.

5) tinyurl.com
This is easy to remember and the name of the website resembles the conventional 'dot com' sound. Though the number of characters are slightly longer than the rest, I think this is a good balance between 'shortening' and 'readability.'

For a list of more than 90 URL list of shorteners, check here. Have fun!

conrade

2 comments:

Rosie Perera said...

Another one to know about is ref.ly (a play on bit.ly), which transforms Bible references into links to that Bible text on bible.logos.com (in whatever version you like). Useful if you're quoting Scripture on your blog or whatever.

YAPdates said...

Thanks for the reference. It is a nice add-on to my list.

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