Shortening Your URLs

posted on 11/20/07 at 01:05:46 pm by Joel Ross

No matter what you think of Dave Winer, he is definitely an innovator and is constantly coming up with great ideas. His latest is a gem as well.

Every web app that produces long urls should provide a built-in url-shortening facility. The user interface would be similar to the one in Google Maps they call "Link To This Page." You click on it, and up pops a box containing an address you can use to point to the page.

He then goes on to show that if you go to, that will take you to Amazon's Wii page, which is actually a much, much longer URL.

From a technical standpoint, providing a shortened URL would be pretty simple - something you could add quickly. If you use the alphabet and numbers, just 4 characters gives you over 1.6 million links, and a 4 character string is fairly simple to remember.

This might have to be added to Tourneytopia this year. A short URL to your March Madness picks would make it a lot easier to share with your friends. And as I think about it, using your entry ID, something you already keep track of, as the shortened URL part, would make it even easier.

Categories: Develomatic, Development, Software