Do you know where you’re going?

No, this isn’t the topic of a homeroom session!

Online, we live in a world where efficiency rules.  Whether it’s squeezing data through your current plan or making it easier to get to a particular website, shorter is deemed to be better.

Can you remember the days of giving out a URL as h – t – t – p – slash – slash and then having to answer “Is that a slash or a backslash?”

We’ve got past this but there’s still the length of those URLs and one slip up can send you to the wrong place or generate a 404 error.  For example, my homepage is located at:  https://sites.google.com/site/dougpete/  That’s a lot of typing but fortunately, there are link shorteners that help the cause.  So, I might use bit.ly to generate this URL – http://bit.ly/2s6uvKC which will take you to the same place with a lot fewer keystrokes.

For the most part, though, we don’t type those URLs anymore.  We just click on a link and land where it takes us.

Here’s the deal.  Hopefully, you see me as a pretty honest guy and you trust me when I send you a link that’s been shortened.  But, what if I wasn’t an honest person?  I could send you anywhere.

“Being careful” is always good advice but maybe you should go beyond that.  If you’re using the Chrome browser, take a look at Unshorten.link.

This extension steps into the middle when you click a shortened link like bit.ly, t.co, or the many, many others that exist.  Instead of visiting the site directly, you have one last chance to bail out.

Screenshot 2017-09-25 at 09.37.20

The only thing that could be better is the advice – I’d suggest “This site looks awesome”!

If this whole link shortening bit has you concerned, this might be your answer.

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is created by me at the keyboard or as a result of an aggregator of my daily reading under the title OTR Links. On Fridays, look for my signature post "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" where I try to share some great writing from Ontario Educators. The other regular post appears Sunday mornings as I try to start a conversation about things that have gone missing from our daily lives.