Why you should use Bitly or TinyURL to shorten web links

What I like about social media is a sense of community, particularly with fellow scientists. I’m moving more to Twitter and from Facebook because there are so many science links in Twitter and it is completely open. I’m currently trying to post links to interesting papers by the speakers at this Gordon Research Conference on Animal Microbe Symbioses because actual reporting of the event is forbidden.

IMG_6773But if I want to post links, they will take too many characters, so I Googled a good way to get shorter links. I didn’t even understand until then that this is a service of other parties, another thing to sign up for. But of course  that makes sense so they don’t make different links to things you pick repeatedly. There are various services, but Bitly came up first, so I signed up. Paste the long URL into their box and they give you a short URL and a button to copy it.

Nick Bos further recommended that you customize the URL. He uses tinyurl, http://www.tinyurl.com/nickbos. His advice made me discover I can also personalize with Bitly. You can now find my pubs here: http://bit.ly/JStrassmann, or my favorite collaborator here: http://bit.ly/DQueller.

Right now Takema Fukatsu is talking and I can’t tell you what just happened but it was stunning and there was a lot of laughter. A video might have been involved. Check out this paper on how moms keep their kids supplied with symbionts: http://bit.ly/1GCyPQF

And use Bitly.


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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4 Responses to Why you should use Bitly or TinyURL to shorten web links

  1. antyscience says:

    Good tip! I personally always use tinyurl for this. Very handy for CV as well, as you can specify the url you want.
    Instead of https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=YmR4AvQAAAAJ for my publication list I made http://www.tinyurl.com/nickbos

    • Any pro or con to using one or the other?

      • antyscience says:

        I must say I didn’t know about bit.ly before this post, but I just read a comparison, and apparently bit.ly is more robust, but requires registration, while tinyurl is quicker if you just want to use it once. So for twitter integration, measuring traffic etc. bit.ly might be better! I’ll try it out, thanks!

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