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FreePint BlogA short look at URL Shorteners [ABSTRACT]

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By Martin Belam


Abstract:

Although URL shortening services first started in 2002 with the introduction of tinyurl.com, it is the increasing use of the social media, particularly those with restricted message lengths, that has led to an explosion in their use. Martin Belam looks at how these services work and explores the advantages and disadvantages of using them.


Item:

Although URL shortening services first started in 2002 with the introduction of tinyurl.com, it is the increasing use of the social media, particularly those with restricted message lengths, that has led to an explosion in their use. Martin Belam looks at how these services work and explores the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

What's inside

The growth of social media content sharing on the
web has seen an explosion in the use of URL shortening services, the
premise of which is that they replace having to use a long URL like
http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/insideguardian/2010/jan/25/news-linked-data-summit
with a much shorter one like http://bit.ly/8v6FFs.
When the bit.ly servers see the code '8v6FFs', they know to redirect
the user to the original article. Popular services include
http://bit.ly, http://tr.im,
http://is.gd/ and http://j.mp/.
Google are also in on the act, with their own http://goo.gl/
and http://youtu.be domains.

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Martin Belam is Information Architect for guardian.co.uk. Before joining The Guardian, he worked as an Internet Consultant with organisations like the BBC, Sony, Vodafone and the Science Museum.

Martin also blogs about information architecture and the media at currybet.net and can be found on Twitter as @currybet.

Martin can be reached at martin.belam@freepint.com

More articles by Martin Belam »


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