Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Use TinyURLs!

Use TinyURLs!
by Carter Jefferson


If you're like me, you have this strong desire to let certain people know when you've published something, and sometimes just to cut them in on some particularly juicy website you've run across. So you send them an e-mail with the URL in it.

That's fine, as long as the URL is short. If it's not, most e-mail programs will break it in two, and your recipients will get something
like this:

http://www.mystericale.com/index.php?issue=current_issue&body=st
ory&file=con_game.html

That means nobody can just click on it; they have to copy both parts and paste them into their address bars. That's actually fairly difficult.

So a better way is to go to

http://tinyurl.com/

and there you paste the long URL into a box. You click on "Make tinyURL" and you get a new page, which will have this on it:

http://tinyurl.com/2h7kjn

Use that in your note, and when your correspondents click on it, they'll be there. The one above, incidentally, takes you to a story by my friend Bob Liter, a member of IWW.

A better way to do this is simply to put the link to TinyURL in your navigation bar. Then you go to the site you want to tell people about, click on the TinyURL link, and it automatically gives you the little-bitty URL you need. All the information here is spelled out in detail on the TinyURL homepage.

Send your friends the long URL, and they'll probably click on it and get nowhere. Send them the TinyURL, they'll click, and then they'll read your deathless prose, which they absolutely need to do.

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