Transform long and unwieldy URLs into nice short ones for including in an email, text message or printed brochure, or explaining in a phone call. [First published June 2006.]
There’s a big problem with long URLs (web addresses): they quite often get ‘broken’ when you include them in an email; no-one wants to include them in printed material because they’re too long to fit a page and anyway a reader would have an awful job typing them into a web browser, and you can’t recite them during a phonecall.
Take the URL for the CommunityNet Aotearoa Maori links page as an example. This horrible URL is generated by a horrendous Content Management System:
Try clicking something like that in an email and chances are, it won’t work. Email software often breaks long URLs over several lines and adds spaces or return characters along the way.
Fortunately, it’s easy to transform that long and unwieldy URL into a nice short one for including in an email, text message or printed brochure, or explaining in a phone call by using the free TinyURL service.
Take that long URL we had earlier and paste it into the form on the TinyURL page, click the Make TinyURL! button and something like this will be produced:
That’s reduced it from a problematic 83 characters to an easy 24.
Next time you want to tell a friend about a cool web page you’ve visited take a moment to transform a long URL to a Tiny URL before you send the email or make the phone call.
Written for and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, June 2006. This article may have been modified from the original.