Vail Tech Bytes: You can shorten those long URLs
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –Have you ever tried to e-mail a really long Web address to someone and have problems with it either cutting off or not sending properly? Or maybe you want to direct someone to a Web page through a text message, Facebook post or tweet and don’t have room for a long URL in your status update?
Well, look no further that bit.ly, a Web site dedicated to shortening those lengthy URLs and making it easy for you to create a manageable address in a few simple steps.
First, copy the long Web address from your browser address bar.
Next, direct your browser to http://bit.ly.
Then, paste the long address into the input field on the bit.ly homepage. Click the “shorten” button.
Voila! In a few seconds it will spit out a simple, shortened URL that you can then share with others. When the person puts that shortened link into their browsers, they’ll be redirected to the original Web site. It’s as simple as that.
The best part about using bit.ly is that you don’t need to sign up or register for anything in order to use the service. It’s really as simple as pasting in a URL and clicking the button.
If you’ll be using the service a lot, they do offer a free account that you can sign up for, which will give you access to more features than are available otherwise. By signing up for the free account you’ll be ale to see a complete history of all of the links you’ve ever created while signed in, and you’ll also be able to see real-time tracking of your links to check on their use and performance.
Now that you know how bit.ly works, here’s an example of a really neat Web site I found this week, whose original URL was a typical Google maps URL that came it a whopping 470 characters long. By using bit.ly I was able to create a simple URL that you can quickly and easily retype into your browser to see the same page: http://bit.ly/9W7Xra
Check out this Web page that lets you navigate the Whistler Olympic alpine skiing runs from the point of view of a skier, thanks to Google and their street-view equipped snowmobile.
Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media, http://secondoctober.com, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Have a tech question you’d like answered? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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