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On Tiny URLs

I hate getting emails where my email program correctly identified only half of a URL as a URL, making it entirely useless unless you copy and paste into your browser. It’s one of those little things that’s just annoying. Of course, then I laugh at myself that I think it’s such a pain in the neck to have to highlight the URL, control c to copy, alt tab to my browser, click into the address bar, and control v to paste. It all takes less than 3 seconds. I mean really, is that such a hardship?

The answer seemed to be TinyURL, which makes any big honkin’ URL into a nice, tidy little URL that no email program will choke on. There’s even a nifty Firefox extension.

But here’s the catch. I’m suspicious whenever anyone sends me a link that’s a tiny URL unless I know the person who sent it to me. There was a comment added to this blog recently from someone I don’t know, and it took me a long time to get up the gumption to click the stupid thing. How was I to know that it would just lead to someone’s blog? There’s no domain name to give me a clue. It just says http://tinyurl.com/[some numbers and letters to make a unique string].

I hadn’t realized just how dependent I am on reading URLs to see what I might be getting in to. Not that they’re perfect or that they can’t lie. But at least there’s some clue.