You will have seen branded urls: ow.ly, bit.ly, Goo.gl, Tinyurl, ift.tt and lots of others. URL Shorteners that transform long, unwieldy, spammy-looking web page addresses into smaller and more social media friendly links.
As well as making the links shorter, a link shortening service can be used to understand the number of clicks that your links receive – particularly if you are curating content and so pointing your readers to content that is not on your website that cannot be assessed with site based analytics.
However, using a commercial link shortening service like the ones above, is an advertisement for the link shortening service. So, if you are going to the effort of producing or curating content to share, why would you want to give someone else some of the attention? [Read more…]