Archive for January 5th, 2010


My URL-shortening service of choice

As far as I’m concerned, URL-shortening services have one objective: to make URLs short.  I am a lot less concerned with various features those service might offer than I am with how short they can make URLs.  As far as I can tell, creates the shortest URLs around, so it has become my URL-shortening service of choice.  Not only does it have the shortest possible domain name but it also uses both upper- and lower-case letters as well as numbers as the database key.  This means that it can index more URLs using a given number of characters than shortening services that use, say numbers and only lower-case letters.

However, is owned by, which has a lot more visibility as a URL-shortening service.  While owns, they are not separate services that happen to have the same owner; rather, they are highly integrated.  A single user account gets you access to both and  Furthermore, and actually share their database, since and, for example, both redirect to the same site.  This raises the question of why I would want to use a shortening service like when is actually the same but produces URLs that are 2 characters shorter.  In many ways, is the best of both worlds.  Because it’s connected to, it offers a slew of nice features but it produces the shortest URLs around.

Unfortunately, it’s clear from the website that is interested in promoting and not  At some point in the past I went to and grabbed their “Shorten with” bookmarklet, which I put in my bookmark toolbar so I could easily shorten URLs for use on Twitter.  However, this bookmarklet appears to be gone.  If you go to, it offers a “Shorten with” bookmarklet rather than a “Shorten with” bookmarklet”.  Doesn’t that seem strange?

Fortunately, there is a simple solution: manually edit the bookmarklet.  It turns out that simply changing in the “URL” field code to is sufficient to change this “Shorten with” bookmarklet into a “Shorten with” bookmarklet.  In addition to making the change in the “URL” field, you probably want to change the name of the bookmarklet just so it’s clear that you’re using rather than


January 2010

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