Hack 58. Simplify Google Groups URLs
If the Google Groups URLs are a little too
unwieldy, the Google Groups Simplifier will cut them down to size.
Google Groups can produce some rather abominable URLs for individual
posts. One message can generate a URL along the likes of this:
This is a difficult URL to save and referenceónot to mention to
email to a colleague.
URL-shortening services generate unique
codes for each URL provided, allowing extremely long URLs to be
compressed into much shorter, unique URLs. For example, Yahoo! News
URLs can be terribly long, but with TinyURL, they can be shortened to
something like http://tinyurl.com/2ph8.
- TinyURL (http://www.tinyurl.com)
Shortens URLs to 23 characters. A bookmarklet is available. The
service converted the Google Groups URL at the beginning of this hack
- MakeAShorterLink (http://www.makeashorterlink.com)
Shortens URLs to about 40 characters, which, when clicked, take the
browser to gateway pages with details of where
they're about to be sent, after which the browser is
redirected to the desired URL. MakeAShorterLink converted that Google
Groups URL to http://makeashorterlink.com/?A2FD145A1.
- Shorl (http://www.shorl.com)
In addition to shortening URLs to about 35 characters, Shorl tracks
click-through statistics for the generated URL. These stats can be
accessed only by the person who created the Shorl URL using a
password generated at the time. Shorl turned the Groups URL above
into http://www.shorl.com/jasomykuprystu, with the
stats page at http://shorl.com/stat.php?id=jasomykuprystu&pwd=jirafryvukomuha.
Note the embedded password (pwd=jirafryvukomuha).