Blogging Tip v.1

by Jeremy O'Bryan

The Temple is my third or fourth attempt at keeping a Weblog. I’ve also done some Web authoring, back in the days of pre-standards-based Web 1.0 and HTML 4.0 without style sheets. And without the actual design elegance you see today.

I’m no guru, but I have found this one little tool that I’ll share. Sometimes linking to other pages on the Web can be cumbersome — especially when the URL of the page you’re linking to has dozens or even hundreds of characters in it.

Enter Tiny URL, a little Web application that shrinks your really long URL linkers down to a manageable size. Just surf to http://tinyurl.com, copy and paste your long URL into the engine and — voila! — you’re given a much shorter URL to copy and paste into the link you’re building.

Here’s the link Google Maps gives you when you search for Apple Inc. headquarters in Cupertino.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1+Infinite+Loop,+Cupertino,+CA+95014&sll=37.332853,-122.030447&sspn=0.009435,0.01605&ie=UTF8&ll=37.332853,-122.030447&spn=0.009435,0.01605&z=16&iwloc=addr

As you can see, it’s cumbersome. I can, of course, simply assign the URL to a short little word or phrase, like Apple Inc. for example, like I did above, and hide the long URL in the mechanics of the site.

But using Tiny URL to shorten links makes it easier to keep lists of links organized, especially lists of books on Amazon and the like. or maps. One drawback — when readers hover over your links to look for the URL’s root context, they get the coded version of your link from Tiny URL, which looks like this:

http://tinyurl.com/4ocubf

But if you’re willing to lose the actual Web site context of a longer URL in your links, using Tiny URL is a great way to uncomplicate the language of the Web.

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