Why I Love URL Shorteners


Have you ever received an e-mail like this?

When you click on the link, it takes you to a bad web page because not all of the link was sent to the browser.

Have you ever received an e-mail like this?

When you click on the link, it takes you to a bad web page because not all of the link was sent to the browser.

As a project manager, I receive and send tons of links via e-mail and more often than not, I would come across this problem on a regular basis. First off, the link is not bad – it’s just that it’s too long when it’s clicked from an e-mail, the entire address is not passed to the web browser hence going to the wrong address. The right way of addressing this is to copy the entire URL and paste it on the web browser address bar.

Let’s be realistic, though. How many people would copy and paste a link from an e-mail to a web browser? Like most of you, I am among the lazy majority who would just click on the link.

Because of this technical flaw, issues arise such as:

“The link that you sent me was bad.”

“I thought I can download the proposal? When I clicked on the link it gave me an error.”

“I wasn’t able to complete the documentation on time because the reference link you sent me did not work.”

Enough is enough. To minimize, or even better, completely avoid these issues, I was able to find the silver bullet on how to effectively send links via e-mail, instant messaging (IM), or even text messaging:

URL Shorteners!

URL Shorteners (aka URL Redirection Services) are a way to shorten the URL so it can substitute the long URLs we often send. For example, my blog post “Will the Real SharePoint Consultant Please Stand Up?” has the following URL:

http://sp.meetdux.com/archive/2008/06/01/will-the-real-sharepoint-consultant-please-stand-up.aspx

Using a URL shortener, the new URL is:

http://bit.ly/tMCie

There are a lot of URL shortener services out there. Here is a list of them: http://bit.ly/3FVsyg

In addition, here is a great review of top 5 URL shortener services: http://bit.ly/38xblJ

Although for me, hands down the best URL shortener service is http://bit.ly

So, why do I love URL shorteners? Services like this confirms my belief that “Less is More” or just “Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS)”. This reminds me of an anecdote about former US President Calvin Coolidge who is known for being a man of few words.

One evening Calvin Coolidge was sitting at dinner when a fellow guest – well aware of his reputation for taciturnity – attempted to lure him into conversation. “I have made a bet, Mr. Coolidge,” she began, “that I can get more than two words out of you.” Calvin’s reply? “You lose.”

5 thoughts on “Why I Love URL Shorteners

  1. I use URL shorteners all the time on Twitter! I don’t know why I didn’t think to use them in emails too. Great reminder.

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  3. Project management courses are most beneficial when there is a clear intent to address specific relevant and pressing issues.

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