How to: Shorten URLs for Social Media

One of the things the social media “gurus” will tell you is that in order for your online content to fly off the shelf, it has to be easy to remember, usable. That advice is also good if you’re doing research or other things.

When I blog here at The Droid Lawyer, I publish the posts to Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and a number of other sources. The trouble is, some of the names of my posts are gigantic. Those don’t translate well to many sites, especially Twitter, which restrict characters. I end up with a choppy, unreadable URL. The solution: shorten the URL.

Long ago Jim Calloway introduced me to TinyURL.com. The site allows you to shrink and customize your long URL into something manageable. That site worked alright for me for awhile, and still does, but because I’m obsessive about “the stats,” I wanted something that could track clicks and usages.

Fortunately, about that time, Google recognized the value of tracking people’s stats and URL shorteners, and introduced its own site, goo.gl. Like TinyURL, Google’s Url Shortener will take your extremely cumbersome URL and change it to something manageable. For instance, this post’s long URL (http://thedroidlawyer.com/2012/11/how-to-shorten…r-social-media/) becomes http://goo.gl/nHxm3. Short and simple.

Once shortened, Google Url Shortener will track your clicks and give some short analytics about the link.

There are other sites that will do the same thing. I like Google Url Shortener for one simple reason: Google. I have a belief, perhaps it’s misplaced, that giving Google access to information will somehow enhance its favor with the search giant. That also explains my reservations against Google Drive. I’m okay granting Google access to some information, just not others. I’m selfish, and so is Google.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.