Archive for August, 2009

Twitter, Facebook, and URL Shorteners

Well, as a few people who actually come here may know, I’ve started using Twitter and Facebook.  I held off for a long time, but I got curious, so I set up accounts.

Twitter…not much happening there.  I have a few followers, most of them spammers.  I only have two legit followers.  Facebook, however, has exploded.  No more than an hour passed before I had friends on FB…family I haven’t seen in years.  Now, most of my high school classmates, and many friends, co-workers, and acquaintances are now on my FB friend list.  It’s amazing.

But I started having issues when I went to post links.  A lot of links (especially blog and article posts) have extremely long URLs (web addresses).  Since Twitter can only have 140 characters per post, I started looking at URL shorteners.  The problem was one of stability and longevity.  The shortener services out there are having scaling problems.  Too many people shortening too many URLs.  So I rolled out my own.  I picked up a short domain name, and downloaded a shortener script called Lessn.  The domain “smlnk.us” (short for Small Link Us) was available AND on sale!  So now, I can simply create a short link for some of those ginormous links out there.  An example is http://3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.com/.  I used this as a test.  It’s very large.  Now, the short link:  http://smlnk.us/1.  Not bad, eh?  If you already have a nice webhosting package, it really makes sense to roll out your own URL shortener service.  It removes the problem of a third party site going down unexpectedly, or removing your links.

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