Some time ago, Jeb wrote a post about TinyURL, a web service that takes a long web URL and gives you a tiny one. This is useful for e-mailing someone a URL because if you just give them the whole URL it will be broken onto two lines and no longer work. Though I knew about TinyURL for a while, for some reason I didn’t use it for a long work web address and I would get people who would say it didn’t work because the very last letter had wrapped to the next line. I sent out an e-mail yesterday and got three comments about the links not working so I decided it was time.
I entered in the long address and TinyURL, as always, gave me a very short link that takes people to their website before instantly forwarding them to my site. The shortcut always starts http://tinyurl.com/ (not even a www, which shows how serious they are about short URL’s) and then has five (used to be four) random numbers and letters.
Well, the shortcut it gave me ended with 3 letters of a 4-letter word I would rather not repeat here. Being a smart guy I thought I would just enter it again and get a new TinyURL. But TinyURL, being even smarter than me, spit back the exact same nearly indecent URL.
I figured TinyURL was such a great idea that somebody had probably copied it. I searched for an alternative and soon found URL123. They have essentially the same service (except one less letter!) and I wound up with the much more pleasant: