Posts Tagged ‘url

30
Sep
08

Best URL Shortener I’ve used yet – Part 2

In a previous post, I lamented the loss of tracking data that comes with using certain URL shorteners – these sites are providing a great service, but at the same time, are removing some of the control you have over your data. I suggested bit.ly as a partial solution to that problem, since it provides stats on how many people have clicked on the shortened URLs you create.

However, there’s another interesting addition to the seemingly ever-broadening URL shortener market – uTag. uTag is Australian. Sweet. It’s different from other URL shortener offerings in that it lets users raise revenue from using uTag shortened URLs, with payments being deposited into your PayPal account… any uTag links users click on open with a drop down advertising bar in the top of your browser, hence making your link-love ad revenue supported. This might sound irritating for users, but the bar can be closed down with a click of the user’s mouse button if it annoys them. Whilst it’s probably not the right way to go for your polished, corporate marketing blogs / twitter accounts, it’s another way to monetize what you do online and effectively represents opt in ad displays, which in itself is a new concept (i.e. you can turn embedded ads on or off)

Screencast of how uTag works stolen from the uTag blog FAQ post.

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14
Aug
08

The Best URL shortener I’ve used yet

Of late, I’ve been checking twitter alot. I mean ALOT. Like 30 times a day. It’s weird, but Twitter gives so much more to me than Facebook despite it being infinitely simpler. The reason is the level of participation activity amongst Twitterers is about 10 times the activity of Facebookers – every time I view my twitter feeds, there’s a handful of new things happening. And I always get a laugh or learn something interesting about people I know.

If you’ve ever used twitter to direct people to your blog, other people’s blogs, interesting websites etc, you’ve probably used URL shorteners. Using Snurl.com, Tinyurl.com, is.gd etc means you have more of your 160 characters in the twitter message for including important stuff that people actually care about. Like smiley faces, LOLspeak and exclamation marks…

However, using URL shorteners reduces the amount of control / information you have. Here’s my 2 beefs with them.

  1. The first is that if you are driving traffic from your twitter account to someone’s blog, it would be great if you could then leave a pingback on that person’s blog to either your twitter page or your own blog. Pingbacks are important because it lets authors know they are being read. They are also important, because the author might in turn decide to share traffic with you (and at the very least will probably go to your twitter page / profile or blog). However, current URL shorteners don’t let the blogger I’m sending traffic to see who’s sent traffic his way at all. Which kinda sucks…
  2. My second beef was that I could never tell how many people had clicked my link-I can track outgoing clicks on a website that I own using AdCentre, Google Analytics, whatever. However, with snurl.com (or the other aforementioned services), you don’t own the click through data any more, so you can never see how many people actually follow the shortened URL. No-one wants to be twittering into a black hole… and how do you know if you are twittering to a black hole if you don’t know how many people are actually following your links?

Luckily, Bit.ly has solved this second beef of mine and has as such been dubbed “The Greatest URL Shortener of All Time According to Nick’s Worldview“… you can now see how many people are following your shortened URLs (see pic below). Neat huh?

Now, if someone out there can just work out how I can point to someone’s blog with a shortened URL and have the pingback on their blog listed as from the URL of my selection, that’d be awesome! (and admittedly, a spammers dream come true too)




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