Posts Categorized: URL Design

The New York Times' New URL Structure

Posted by & filed under URL Design.

The Hyperlink Grows Up: The Times Releases New Linking Features Here’s how it works. In the story above, the base URL is: If you wanted to link to a specific paragraph, you’d simply add a “#” and the number of the paragraph, e.g.: You can even go a step deeper and skip to […]

Shortly Over Part 2: Twitter Returns Long URLs

Posted by & filed under Twitter, URL Design.

After maintaining years of awkward, inconsistent URL shortening behavior because of some vague argument about SMS capabilities – Twitter has announced links passed through their service may or may not be shortened to “A really long link such as might be wrapped as for display on SMS, but it could be displayed […]

URL Shorteners Are So Last Year

Posted by & filed under URL Design.

URL shorteners were all the rage in 2008 and 2009 – primarily due to the character constraints within the short messages service that was all the rage in 2008 and 2009 – Twitter. URL shorteners take a long url, for example, this Google Map url:,+plymouth,+mn&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&cid=1854680882426337660&li=lmd&z=14&iwloc=A and transform it into something like: Every URL […]

Mike Keliher on Short URL Trust

Posted by & filed under URL Design.

“When you see a TinyURL, you have no idea what the link is going to point you to. Viruses, spyware, porn and all sorts of other unwanted or inappropriate stuff are just a click away. …what if you actually could trust a shortened URL?….The need for safety and security online will not go away. Don’t […]

Culld.Us – URL Shortening Reimagined

Posted by & filed under cullect, Projects, URL Design.

We don’t shorten URLs just to shorten them. We shorten them for the same reason big box retailers sell flat-pack furniture – greater confidence during transport. With that in mind, I’ve completely rebuilt Cullect’s URL Shortener1 – It’s still custom brand-able. In a way I’m much happier with than in the previous version – […]

Talking Short URLs with Zack from Nieman Lab

Posted by & filed under URL Design.

Zack Seward from Harvard’s Neiman Journalism Lab and I talked about URL shorteners yesterday – and the responsibility of publishers to shorten themselves… “The really, really big benefit in that case is that it’s no longer a redirect…” …and the additional opportunity for a focused, curated, short URL service…. “he raised an idea that’s been […]

Shortly Over

Posted by & filed under URL Design, Web 2.0.

“No business we approached wanted to purchase for even a minor amount.” I appreciate’s honesty. From what I understand,’s business model was similar to’s and – what increasingly feels like – Twitter’s business model: aggregate and sell statistics on how information is being shared on real-time basis. Measuring word-of-mouse if you […] – Extra Short Stories

Posted by & filed under URL Design.

There’s lots of silly URL shorteners. Some of my favorites – not just because of their silliness, but because they offer some interesting potential; GiantURL – takes a regular URL and transforms it into a multi-line, unreadable, hash. Potentially, the information you’re sharing could be encoded into the hash, rather than redirected. Hmmm. what’s the […]

More Usable URLs:

Posted by & filed under Featured Articles, Twitter, URL Design, Usability.

URLs are consistently the least usable aspect of our interaction with web-based information services – which is terribly unfortunate considering their prominence in how we access, share, and interact with these services. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how Twitter’s URLs could be more usable – by either being more logical, more […]

A Proposal for Shorter Google Maps URLs

Posted by & filed under Featured Articles, Google, Google Maps, URL Design, Usability.

I was adding a link to a Google map into my iCal and noticed Google is encouraging me to share the the map URLs in email and IM. But there’s a problem with the Google Maps URLs. They’re +/- 155 characters. Here’s the full URL:,+plymouth,+mn&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&cid=1854680882426337660&li=lmd&z=14&iwloc=A This URL is neither short, nor easily memorable, nor […]

Short URLs Re-defining SEO

Posted by & filed under Featured Articles, Search Engines, Social Networks, URL Design, Usability.

It’s conventional search engine optimization wisdom that URLs should contain words, separated by either dashes or underscores. This approach improves the readability of the URL – making it more usable for people while simultaneously giving internet robots something to work on. But with people sharing URLs within places – like Twitter and Facebook (and … […]

WordPress URL Shortening Hack

Posted by & filed under URL Design, Usability, WordPress.

My last post, Publishers Shorten Yourself, got me thinking about easy, low-tech ways to provide a short url for WordPress blogs. Turns out, just 1 line of code is needed in the .htaccess file. RewriteRule ^(\d+)$ http://[YOUR-BLOG-URL]/?p=$1 Add it in just after RewriteBase so your .htaccess looks something like this: # BEGIN WordPress <IfModule mod_rewrite.c> […]

Publishers Shorten Yourself

Posted by & filed under Featured Articles, Projects, URL Design, Weblogs, WordPress.

The Wege pointed me to an excellent article by Joshua Schachter on the issues w/ URL shortening services. It’s consistent my concerns and my Insecurity of Short URLs post. As I alluded to that post, I see 3 opportunities for URL shorteners, all of them revolve around increasing trust (branding, security, backup). Let’s take that […]

RE07.US Update: Expiring URL & Widgets

Posted by & filed under Projects, RE07US, URL Design.

RE07.US continues to make me smile. Last night’s update added a couple neat things; URLs now auto-expire after 5 minutes, yes, there’s also a timer. Usage data; referer, user agent, etc is now being captured. and finally, I’m testing out the RE07.US javascript widget for displaying the RE07.US link on your blog. I’ve got some […]

Introducing: RE07.US – The Greenest URL Shortener

Posted by & filed under Projects, RE07US, Ruby, Sinatra, URL Design.

According to a recent post by, a link in Twitter is clicked for 5 minutes, then completely ignored. That got me thinking about all the wasted short urls out there. So many tinyurl,,, et al, links just collecting dust after all that initial clicking. Seems so wasteful considering “the current economic climate”. […]