Monday, August 27, 2007

What is tinyurl?

While recently attending the opening ceremonies of a national championship, enjoying the good company of some new and old friends, an unexpected question was asked by three different people within the span of fifteen minutes: “what is tiny-earl?” The first time it was asked, the question needed to be repeated thrice before figuring what they were inquiring about. Long story short, folks were wondering about a website address frequently seen in Scuttlebutt: tinyurl.com.

This site is one of the many wonders of the Internet that does stuff for free. When a website address gets too long, it often causes problems with our format. The tinyurl.com website has a tool that effectively turns long addresses into shorter ones, thus the name “Tiny URL.” An example in Issue 2419 was the North Sails announcement in the SAILING SHORTS section, where we needed to shorten the original 116-character web address:

Too long:
http://na.northsails.com/news.taf?_function=detail&news_uid1=361&_UserReference=7F00000146EDDDFA566145074F7446D1C010

Just right:
http://tinyurl.com/yvsu3p

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