Thank heaven for little URLs…

Sorry, couldn’t resist that title for the post.

I’ve been updating the Future Identity website with some diary entries for “Recent Events”, and some “News” entries about events I’ll be speaking at in London over the next couple of weeks. It’s nice that the speaking invitations continue to come in.

As you may have noticed if you follow my Twitter feed, I’ve also been using the “” service for shortening URLs – and it occurred to me, belatedly, to generate a custom one for the FI website – so here it is: www.➡.ws/ (The full URL still works too, of course).

If you haven’t encountered it, makes use of the fact that double-byte character set (DBCS) characters are valid in URLs, even if the binary value doesn’t render to anything useful. This gives them a huge range of characters which they can use to create a short URL which they then map onto whichever URL you submit. Suffice to say, it’s a lot easier to use than to explain! There are other similar services, such as TinyURL and; Twitter users use them a lot so as to be able to include URLs in tweets while sacrificing as little as possible of the allotted 140-character message length.

All of which raises the question: what is the correct name for a little URL? A viscount, perhaps? [groan]


3 thoughts on “Thank heaven for little URLs…

  1. CarolynC says:

    That’s curious, Robin. I got this little error message:OInternet Explorer cannot open the Internet site// abortedOtrying to go from your tweet to this blog entry. Still, it opened up a new window with this entry… but then wouldn’t let me read it…Firefox didn’t have a problem.The idiosyncrasies of browsers!P.S. You are baaa-aaad! ;^)

  2. Do little URLs get bigger every day?

  3. Thank Heaven for little URLs, For little URLs get googled every day. Thank Heaven for little URLs,They twitter in the most delightful wayThose meaningless little codes are so appealing, but may send your browser crashin’ thru the ceilin’Thank heaven for little URLsthank heaven for them all,no matter which domain or wherefor without them, what would Twitterers do?(with apologies to Lerner and Loewe)

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