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Working with URL Shorteners

From: Monday Productivity Pointers

Video: Working with URL Shorteners

Jess Stratton here, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. Now, why would you want to use a service like this? Finally, it's also trackable.

Working with URL Shorteners

Jess Stratton here, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. In this video, I'm going to be talking about the basics of URL shorteners. Including how to do it, and how to deconstruct a shortened URL so that you know where it's going to take you before you click on it. But let's back up for a second. What's a shortened URL? Well, it takes a very long URL, and goes through a service in which it comes out with a much tiny URL that takes way less characters to send. But still goes to the same site.

So how does it work? Well, it's called a web redirect. The original long URL goes through a service, which you've designed which service you're going to use. And it uses an algorithm to make the URL much smaller. And then that same service, when you type the shortened URL into a browser, will deconstruct the URL, make it long again. And send the person who's clicking on it to the right site. Now, why would you want to use a service like this? Well, some social networks like Twitter limit you to the amount of characters you can use, so every space counts.

Also, it's just tidier. Some URLs can be over 100 characters long. And can contain all sorts of information like parameters and information that you might not want anybody to see right away. It's tidy and sometimes it's hard to paste that into an email or chat window. Finally, it's also trackable. When you use a shortening service, you can see how many people are actually clicking on your link. So, it's very useful for marketing purposes. The last question is, which service should you use? There's lots to try and the real answer to the question, is use them all and find out what works for you.

You may only need to shorten the link once or twice and in that case you can use the Google service. Or there's other sites like www.tinyurl.com and www.bitly.com. Sometimes you find yourself sending the same link over and over and over again, in which case a more robust program like bitly may be for you. Because you can send links over and over again with the click of a button. I'm going to show you how to use bitly in the next video. But this one's focusing on how to send a shortened URL once using the Google service. And also how to deconstruct a shortened URL so you know where it's taking you before you click on it.

I've got my Monday Productivity Pointers course open on lynda.com. And I can see that the URL is a little bit long. Now, this is a great example of one that I might want to shorten. Just paste it into a chat window, or to tweet it. So the first thing that I'm going to do is select the entire link. Right click with my mouse, and choose, Copy. Now I am going to come over here to this browser tab where I have already got the Google URL shortener up. But in case if you wanted it, its goo.gl and that will take you right to this page.

I can come in here and right click and paste my long URL in I can see it. And now I am going to click the blue shortened URL button. Now the last thing I have to do is, get through the captcha service first to prove that I'm not a robot. So I'm going to type in that text, click Verify. And here's my shortened link, it's already highlighted. So I can press Cmd+C to copy it to my clipboard. Now i can paste this link anywhere I want. For example, I can paste it into Twitter.

I right click and choose Paste or Cmd+V. Now I'll get a nice link in there that's tidy and takes up less characters. It's also much easier to paste it into a chat window. So what about links that other people have shortened? I've got Lynda's site up on Twitter. And I can see that there is a link here that I'm looking at. Now I know Lynda.com and I know this link is safe. But it's a good example of some links that you'll see that you have no idea where they are going to lead you to. Some people may send you links like this in an email or in a tweet.

There's so many services now, it's hard to keep up with what these are. So you can actually take this link and deconstruct it to find out where it's going to go. I suggest doing this if you're ever given a link and it's from somebody you don't know. Or if it's from a Twitter follower that you don't know very well. So what you can do, is click and drag, hit Cmd+C on your keyboard or right click and copy the link. And now we're going to go to a new site called, longurl.org. This is a free service that will expand that link for you and tell you exactly where it's going to take you.

If I put my cursor right in the white box, it blanks out and it's going to let me paste my link in to it. From here, I can click Expand. And now I can see exactly where that long URL is and where it's going to take me. It'll take me to the title of the page, and what the URL is. So it's up to me to decide why I want to go there. I can even click on a link right from here. So that's a little bit about how you use shortener services. You can take your link. Put it into a temporary shortener service and it will make it much tidier to use.

And if you're not sure of what somebody else's link is, you can always put it into longurl.org and deconstruct it. In the next video, I'm going to show you how to use a more robust service like Bitly. That way you can save links and send them to people over and over again.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Monday Productivity Pointers

121 video lessons · 50741 viewers

Jess Stratton
Author

 
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  1. 9m 31s
    1. Migrating to Google Apps
      9m 31s
  2. 10h 24m
    1. Welcome to the series
      1m 13s
    2. Running a group meeting with coworkers
      7m 19s
    3. Recording and marketing chat on air
      8m 30s
    4. Creating a quick presentation
      5m 37s
    5. Presenting from an iPad or computer
      3m 36s
    6. Migrating your accounts to Mint.com
      9m 55s
    7. Setting budgets and goals
      7m 4s
    8. Collaborating on team documents
      5m 53s
    9. Creating an online photo gallery
      4m 58s
    10. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
      10m 41s
    11. Driving traffic to your project
      5m 48s
    12. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
      6m 40s
    13. Adding video and chat notifications
      4m 7s
    14. Accepting a payment with Square
      4m 35s
    15. Using the Square Wallet
      2m 32s
    16. Setting up shop on Etsy
      6m 31s
    17. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
      4m 9s
    18. Raising your Klout score
      7m 3s
    19. Earning Klout perks
      4m 55s
    20. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
      4m 56s
    21. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
      2m 57s
    22. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
      5m 5s
    23. Removing a page from the Google search index
      4m 42s
    24. Browsing privately in public
      4m 38s
    25. Cleaning up your session before logging out
      5m 8s
    26. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
      3m 42s
    27. Taking screenshots from a PC
      4m 12s
    28. Taking screenshots from a Mac
      3m 36s
    29. Setting up Find My iPhone
      3m 36s
    30. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
      3m 49s
    31. Sampling color from the screen
      5m 27s
    32. Using ColourLovers.com for inspiration
      3m 22s
    33. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
      5m 49s
    34. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
      5m 41s
    35. Record your screen using QuickTime
      3m 14s
    36. Record your screen using CamStudio
      2m 34s
    37. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
      3m 9s
    38. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
      3m 38s
    39. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
      9m 0s
    40. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
      5m 46s
    41. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
      6m 52s
    42. Customizing the Mac Mail View
      7m 13s
    43. What's a firewall?
      7m 36s
    44. What is the Cloud?
      4m 42s
    45. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
      7m 19s
    46. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
      5m 7s
    47. Installing the Feedly browser extension
      6m 34s
    48. Customizing Feedly
      6m 53s
    49. Understanding the basics of Twitter
      9m 9s
    50. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
      9m 14s
    51. Working with URL Shorteners
      5m 45s
    52. Using bit.ly
      8m 31s
    53. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
      6m 19s
    54. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
      6m 7s
    55. Shutting off access to social networks
      6m 18s
    56. Hiding taskbars
      2m 36s
    57. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
      10m 7s
    58. Running a productive online meeting
      3m 44s
    59. Getting meeting minutes faster
      6m 47s
    60. TextExpander for Mac
      7m 6s
    61. Breevy for Windows
      3m 44s
    62. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
      5m 52s
    63. Using Windows Libraries
      4m 25s
    64. Finding large attachments in your email apps
      5m 13s
    65. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
      3m 30s
    66. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
      2m 56s
    67. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
      4m 7s
    68. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
      3m 16s
    69. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
      3m 45s
    70. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
      3m 20s
    71. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
      4m 1s
    72. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
      4m 10s
    73. Resetting browser site passwords
      7m 11s
    74. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
      7m 42s
    75. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
      7m 59s
    76. Setting up dual band speed on your router
      7m 36s
    77. Add your social media activity to your website
      8m 54s
    78. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
      4m 48s
    79. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
      8m 20s
    80. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
      5m 58s
    81. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
      5m 11s
    82. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
      4m 31s
    83. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
      4m 18s
    84. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
      5m 52s
    85. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
      4m 25s
    86. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
      3m 55s
    87. Getting to Inbox Zero
      11m 4s
    88. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
      3m 19s
    89. Adding 2-step authentication
      3m 39s
    90. Enabling in-app PIN codes
      3m 31s
    91. Accessing your digital movies
      5m 20s
    92. Copying movies onto a device
      3m 25s
    93. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
      3m 34s
    94. Sending your scans
      2m 41s
    95. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
      4m 49s
    96. Writing a letter of recommendation
      7m 49s
    97. Constructing a successful press release
      4m 48s
    98. Troubleshooting wireless security
      4m 48s
    99. Writing a claim letter
      5m 22s
    100. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
      5m 9s
    101. How to do a firmware update
      6m 34s
    102. Siri, your iPhone assistant
      4m 48s
    103. Writing an email that gets read
      4m 51s
    104. Writing an email that requires action
      2m 54s
    105. Your Blu-ray questions answered
      3m 50s
    106. Using LittleBit to photograph your goal progress
      3m 9s
    107. Exporting WordPress blog entries
      3m 28s
    108. Understanding how Office 365 works
      5m 9s
    109. Using Waze for crowdsourced GPS
      2m 58s
    110. Downloading your Facebook timeline
      3m 10s
    111. Scheduling email with Boomerang
      4m 24s
    112. Google Labs for Calendar
      2m 58s
    113. Finding missing songs in iTunes on your iPhone
      2m 10s
    114. Requesting your Twitter archive
      2m 59s
    115. Using Doodle for easy group scheduling
      4m 59s
    116. Easily remote to another computer with Join.me
      3m 47s
    117. Keyboard shortcuts for YouTube
      2m 58s
    118. Easily annotate images with Skitch
      6m 4s
    119. Blurring photos for posting on social networks
      6m 41s
    120. Get your Google Calendar schedule by email every morning
      3m 3s

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