General Question

J3's avatar

Is there a reason for rel="shortlink" yet?

Asked by J3 (58 points ) February 14th, 2010

I recently added a URL shortener to a blog I run so my writers can use it when posting links to Twitter or in our forums and emails. It’s really nice: we use a domain that is a shorter version of our name rather that some one else’s name like “bit.ly”; we have control over the path so instead of randomness at the end like “bit.ly/2jd#t6e” we can use something specific like “ourshortdomain/bestof09”; plus we can keep full stats on the clicks.

As part of the upgrade I’ve added the [ link rel=shortlink href=URL ] code to our headers. I was hoping that when a site like Twitter saw our full URL they would auto shorten based on our metadata. No such luck.

It’s not a big deal. We can paste the short links ourselves. I was just wondering if the rel=shortlink code was actually being supported anywhere or is this just a future-proofing measure.

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5 Answers

drhat77's avatar

If you are crossing services that have open API’s sometimes you need a custom made solution by a proffesional to bridge the gaps left. You have to judge it against the cost to you and your workers with the time they spend on an inelegant workaround

J3's avatar

thanks for the input. This is not a feature we need so definitely not worth the effort. I just wanted to see how it worked and can’t find anywhere that recognizes it.

sferik's avatar

Reading the Short URL Auto-Discovery proposal by Robert Spychala should answer many of your questions.

J3's avatar

Thanks, I have read that. But it is a very good read for developers who have no idea what we’re talking about!

As it mentions:

“This proposed API would have to be implemented by both parties to be successful:
– content providers like snaplog.com, tumblr.com, blogger.com, typepad.com et al.
– the twitters, and facebooks, their blogging tools and clients to check for the shorturl tag”

I, as a content provider, have implemented it on my side. My question was has any one on the flip side of the equation implemented it so I can see it in action.

As I said in my original question, this is not a big deal. It’s really just curiosity on my part to see this proposed feature in action. For now it appears we’re ready when ever the other side is!

J3's avatar

Found an answer and will post it here in case any other geeks like me are looking for it!

http://rel-shortlink.appspot.com/

This page has a URL shortener on it that is supposed to use the rel=shortlink as the default and if none is listed fall back to one of the other shortening companies. I tried it (before posting my question here originally) but it did not work. I just noticed the site has a bookmarklet, and after giving that a try happy to say it works perfectly! Click the bookmarklet when on any webpage and it will provide you a shortened URL you can copy—provided by either the website you are visiting itself or from TinyURL if the website does not support rel=shortlink.

Thanks to everyone for the help!

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