Shorten Services: Who knew the Internet connection to Libya?
It is very common to see the shorten service site such as bit.ly. It turns out that the “ly” is Libya's Internet domain which uses the English language's adverbial suffix: ly. English language Internet users like the ly…sort of catchy. The article states that 43% of the “ly” domain is owned by English speaking countries such the US, UK, and Canada.
Today in the Wall Street Journal http://prnt.in/ZJm the entire possibly embarrassing connection is outlined. From the US Air Force, to House leaders to ordinary people, many Internet sites have used the “ly” domain. According to the article, bit.ly paid $75 for the domain name. According to the Treasury Department (another bit.ly user), a spokesperson says that Americans could not rent .ly domains from entities controlled by Gadhafi regime. Does it matter? You can be the judge.
What shortening service do you use? At Printing Industrieswe have our own service and I enjoy it. Our service also gives a QR code for every address. I have not used that part yet. Just as other services, you can place a long Internet address in one part of the site, shrink the address, and share it with others. Note the Wall Street Article short address in the paragraph above. The best advantage is the ability to track how many clicks to the address were completed.
When I wrote this article, I used my account to shorten the address. When a reader clicks on it, I will be able to track how many people bothered to check out the article. I cannot track "who" clicked on it. The number of clicks is the most important. It is very helpful for an author (like me) to see if some of the references are being used. In other words I can see if this topic is of interest. The use of a shorten service is widely accepted but I am surprised how many people don't use it. Twitter users always need to shorten addresses to keep to the character limitations.