Sharing is in, especially in the online world. The trying thing about dispensing links to friends and followers on the web, though, is the not-so-small matter of long unique resource locators (URLs) that are most unwieldy to pass along. Thank God, then, for the many URL shorteners. Most don’t offer much by way of differentiation. Let’s sneak a little peek at a few that do.
What Doiop allows you to do is elementary and very welcome: define your own keyword. This means that you can provide context to the shortened link and make it easy for the receiver to identify the subject matter.
Tiny is likely the most famous URL shortening site out there. Funnily enough, a lot of people I know don’t find much use for two of its key features. The first, a one-click bookmarklet on your browser that ensures you never have to visit Tiny to shorten a URL. (Just click a button on your browser and it’s done.) The second is a preview feature that gives the receiver of a shortened link a snapshot of the subject matter at the other end.
As a Bit user you can, in addition to shorten and share, track the URLs you send out. Bit will also provide you real-time traffic and referrer data, as well as location. Tracking stats can be accessed after you shorten your URLs with Bit by clicking on the ‘bit+’ link on bit.ly, or adding a ‘+’ sign to the end of any bit.ly link. ‘Ego-sharers’—people who share links to show off how well-read and with it they are—will appreciate this.
A word of caution
Like most things on the internet, spammers have invaded this space too. Therefore, click a shortened URL only if you trust its source.
Finally, if you’d like to keep track of the evolving conversation in this space, please follow the shortened link http://bit.ly/c1htE. (Trust me, it’s all good.)
And now for something long: if you’re the sort who believes the longer the better, feel free to employ the services of http://hugeurl.com/. As the name not-so-subtly suggests, it takes a regular URL and turns it into an extremely long one. What fun!