One of my favorite people, Amy Roediger, is not only a smart, funny and sweet person, she is also apparently a mind reader. This week on her blog, A Lever and A Place to Stand, she wrote about URL shortners–the very same topic I had planned to write about tonight! I considered covering one or two, but her post is much more comprehensive than what I had “written” in my head. She’s graciously agreed to let me reblog it below. Thanks Amy! Enjoy.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Short and Sweet: A Comparison of URL Shorteners
In the class, I used the Google URL shortener, goo.gl. Since the class is about Google, I feel compelled to use as many Google tools as possible. There are many other URL shorteners, though, so I thought I would compare a few of my favorites in chart form. As you will see, they all have slightly different attributes. Which one you choose will depend on what you need.
Here is a bonus one-sentence “loves me, loves me not” summary of them too.
I love that goo.gl is associated with my Google account and that a QR code is created when I shorten it, but I don’t love that Google uses O and 0 and I, l, and 1 that all look alike in fonts without serifs.
I love the bit.ly allows for customization and analytics.
I love that tinyurl.com allows for customization but I don’t love that there isn’t an account to search previously shortened URLs.
I love that fur.ly allows me to cluster several URLs and shorten them together (this would be so great for school projects with students), but I don’t love that the account seems finicky.
I love that ow.ly is simple and easy and integrates with other Twitter tools.
In the reflection papers that the Google participants wrote, several mentioned how handy a shortened URL would be in their classrooms. In fact, one teacher wrote:
My students, who are fourth graders, some of whom are extremely low, struggle to type in those long web addresses. And then, once they get the address typed, they have missed a period or a put in a space and all of their work is for naught. Their hand goes up and there they sit until I can rescue them from their long wait and point out their error. Time lost is learning lost.
I love that the URL shortener will create more time for learning.
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