Saturday, April 10, 2010
One would think I would wince at the command: Shorten, given my childhood history with the word. But in tech talk, shortening is something users need to learn if you wish to to comment on certain sites where long Web addresses are cumbersome.
Take this site for example, Never Too Old To Talk Tech is quite a mouthful. Add the rest of the address for a particular post and you'll soon be gagging at its size. But when shortened, my blog becomes quite a tasty tidbit.
While I have no idea how these tailoring sites perform their snipping, or why their tightened titles turn out the way they do, my ignorance is unimportant. All we amateur techies need to know is that they work.
When I first learned the need to shorten, I used a Web site called TINYURL.com But now, I've switched my allegiance to bit.ly because it has a more appealing page and it retains all of the shortening requests I have recently given them. Thus, if I'm doing a repeat, I don't have to go through the entire process over again.
This is how you hem: first you must copy the Web address (also called URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Yuk.) of the site you're interested in. Do that by clicking at the front of the address, before its http beginning, and sweeping the cursor to the right until the address turns blue. Then, click on the Edit column at the very top of your computer screen and from the drop-down menu, select Copy. You won't see where your reserved copy is located, just be assured it's being safely held until you need it.
Now, exit the site, enter bit.ly in the browser address bar. When that page appears, go back to the Edit column, select Paste and plop the long address into the empty space that bit.ly has reserved for you. Click Shorten.
Copy the shortened address in the same manner as you did the long one that was in the browser: start at the beginning and sweep to the right. Once it's blue, do the Copy maneuver again.
Now you're almost ready to use your more desirable shortened address in Websites that prefer that length. When you get to the place where you want want to attach the link that bit.y just altered for you (it could be for Facebook, Twitter, or in an e-mail), select Paste from Edit's drop-down menu, and deposit your cute new petite link.
Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy. And much less painless than enduring the straight pins, and endless sessions standing atop the Formica kitchen table of my childhood waiting for Mother to finish hemming my ugly skirt.