I like short urls (shurls). I like being able to create memorable links to anything on the internet. I like being able to see statistics on who else has followed the link.
There are many online services that offer this but when you are not in control of your own data you can get burned and I got burned badly when a short url service stopped working a while back and I lost all those saved urls. So I stopped creating shurls and I missed it.
During the xmas holidays last year I was reviewing a list of domains that I owned to see if I really needed them all. (Lots of good ideas - not enough time). It was also the start of the buzz about the millions (OK not really that many but it seems like it sometimes) of new TLDs and I was considering if I should purchase some of those.
It wasn't long before I came to the conclusion of probably every sane domain owner, I don't need more TLDs, but I did spot an existing TLD that I must have missed before .mn and that sparked an idea. If tee.mn was available then I cold use that for my own shurls.
Woohoo it was and fairly easy to register so 20 minutes later and $80 poorer I was the proud owner of another domain. The challenge now was to learn how to write my own url shortener and traffic logger.
Those of you who truly know me already know that this would be light years beyond my development skills. So a quick search on google took me to reviews of several off the shelf packages that I could use. But there really was only one that was worth considering YOURLS.
30 minutes later my new domain http://tee.mn was hosted on my SiteGround account and YOURLS was installed and happily creating my own short urls. And the best bit - I not only can I see stats on their usage I can also be certain that the data I use is also the data that I own.
I have really only scratched the surface of using YOURLS but it does almost everything that I want. I can have random stribgs for the url or something more memorable i I want such as http://tee.mn/remember or http://tee.mn/truth
The only thing that it doesn't offer me is a quick way of sharing images and screenshots with my short url. But I have solved that as well - for the answer to that you will have to wait for the next blog post.