Shorten URLs, Grow Your Web Data With bit.ly
Edward F. Moltzen
Giving bit.ly a try, it certainly looks like it's got potential. After entering in a long URL, bit.ly spits out a short version that can be used to link to a Web page; bit.ly then provides a separate page that shows URL information, including how many clicks to the page via the short URL, traffic sources, etc. No mess, no fuss. (On the first day, though, response time was just slow enough to notice when waiting for the shortened URL.)
Why the big deal about URL shorteners (including other sites like Tiny URL)? Short URLs are becoming a key to the growing communication in micro-blogs, SMS and other web-based communication. The bit.ly site is now working on advanced ways of providing short URLs, so developers can leverage data in ever-better ways, both for delivering content and analyzing traffic.
In short, tools like bit.ly are being positioned as another building block toward creation of a more efficient Web and better communication.