There are certainly a large number of URL shortening services available today. Tinyurl.com is probably the best known, but there are dozens of clones and competitors that have popped up (just search for “url shortening service”).
I recently found a new entry called DecentURL.com whose goal is to make shortened URLs more…decent! The author has implemented two unique steps:
- First, the original domain name is included in the path (minus any “www.” prefix and the top level domain stripped), so you get an idea of where this link is taking you
- Second, the link creator can edit the title to make it more meaningful
For a good example, let’s try one of my Flickr photosets:
If I run this through DecentURL.com and give it a good title (including my name), my new link is:
Contrast that with the same Flickr set run through TinyURL:
Certainly my new link is not as short, but arguably is much more meaningful to the recipient. In the case of Flickr, this would be especially helpful for Guest Passes which are really ugly.