ink shorteners are very prevalent in today’s online communities. They take big links like this: http://www.target.com/s/175-8025086-0539863?_encoding=UTF8&CPNG=Baby&LID=11478237&search-alias=tgt-index&keywords=argyle_sweater%5Fshirt&searchSize=30&ref=tgt%5Fad
sweater%5Fshirt and turn them into smaller links like this: http://bit.ly/60KcN (I like the black and gray ones btw). This is incredibly useful when using messaging systems with limited space or characters like Twitter or Facebook status updates.
Right now you might see some of my tweets and updates that have links that look like this: http://go.shuaism.com/y8bd. This works as a subtle promotion tool for my blog and hopefully helps build value through everything I share (including my own content).
There are several ways to build your own link shortener, but the easiest one I’ve found so far is to use Adjix. They have a feature in the options to create your own using your domain. It’s really simple to do.
1. Sign up for a free Adjix account.
2. Determine what domain prefix you want to use (go. link. etc) and enter it into your profile
3. Set the proper Cname with your domain host and point it to partner.adjix.com
4. Wait 24-48 hours for the dns to update everywhere
5. Start sharing links using your custom link shortener
The reason I went with Adjix is because of it’s ability to quickly and easily pre-schedule links to be tweeted out. Often times I do my blog reading in a block and I find a lot of good content I want to share, but I don’t want to overwhelm my followers with a huge blast of links. Adjix allows me to schedule them out a bit so they get spread out over the day and also provides some rudimentary stats.
When getting this setup I was wondering how it would stack up against other link shorteners I’ve used and so I used bit.ly and cli.gs for a while and compared the clicks I got on the links during this time vs my own domain shortener. For data purposes I kept the amount of links used the same (35) and tallied up the results and divided to get the average. The results actually surprised me quite a bit.
Cli.gs = 23
Bit.ly = 28
Adjix = 53
I guess using my own shortener isn’t such a bad idea when it comes to raw clicks. However when it comes to ReTweets I’ve discovered that most people reshrink the links from my own and send the link back out. Retweets with my personal link shortener are much more rare than when I used bit.ly or cli.gs.
Cli.gs = 13/35
Bit.ly = 23/35
Adjix = 10/35
So now the question is which is going to have more power since we all know people will RT something and then others will change the links to their own and so we lose the total train of data at that point. Do you find the amount of RT’s more important or do you find the amount of clicks from your initial tweet / update more important?
What do you think in RT vs Click? Do you know of any other simple ways to build your own link shortener?
Thanks for reading.
Josh “Shua” Peters
image by existentist