URL shorteners are all the rage at the moment, made particularly popular by the advent of micro-blogging platforms like Twitter and even FaceBook updates for that matter. The concept is pretty simple. Take a long URL, pass it on to the shortening service and receive a far more compact URL that points to the original URL.
Obviously you can see the advantage of this.
Now I must admit that my favourite shortener at the moment (and believe me, there are many of these services out there) is bit.ly.
Aptly support by its bright blowfish mascot, bit.ly performs the basic URL shortening function quickly and with minimal effort, but at the same time enhances the experience with a friendly, quick and quite usable user interface.
On top of all this, they then throw in a whole lot of extra services like tracking shortened URL clicks, storing your converted URL history, and registering a host of other stats against all manner of shortened URLs, never mind all the goodies if you upgrade to a Pro account.
Pro account? Yup, believe it or not, they’ve even managed to figure a way of monetizing this particularly simple concept!
In any event, what I really want to say is that they offer a pretty damn good service – even if it is something as simple as shortening your URLs for you! ;)