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Does Instructables.com need a URL Shortener? Answered

Hi everyone!
Do you think Instructables.com needs a URL shortener that works like bit.ly? Just like YouTube has their shortener, http://youtu.be, Instructables could have Instructabl.es

That way, instead of a URL like this...

You could have this...

Very handy for sharing your stuff on Twitter, Buzz, Bebo and Orkut. Cast your vote here.


maybe you should have ibl.es forwarded to instructables.com or instructables.com/member and have directories pass through, allowing shorter vanity url's

ibl.es/FilmTaped or ibl.es/member/FilmTaped, or as the case above: ibl.es/id/Solar-Lawn-Mower-1/

just a thought

I think if they were to do it, lets do it properly. http://ibl.es/9tGHM9

The issue is that the way it is right now, the default URL is the entire name of the posting with hyphens-between-each-word tacked on to the end of the domain. I share my stuff on Twitter, Buzz and via txt msg all the time. When you have a character limit, every letter counts. And it's only going to get worse. Some other Twitter-like phenom will come along and be the new hit...and we'll still need it.

.  I will click on obfuscated links to sites I trust (eg, something like http://instructables.com/9tGHM9 or the proposed ibl.es or instructabl.es domains, assuming they are under Robot's control), but I hardly ever click on a http://someurlshorteningcompany.tld/gobbledygook unless it is from someone I trust a lot.
.  I can see where a URL shortener would be nice, but I don't consider it to be a big deal. Clearing up the stuff reported in the Bugs forum (and elsewhere) would be higher on my list. But then, I don't Twitter. ;)

You could even drop a couple of characters there. Even with 4 you'll get over 14 million options.

I'd reply to your comment but you stickied it...

Don't yell- I'm merely illustrating that the information is there, ready for the calling, formatting, gift-wrapping and pretty packaging. I don't see resistance to the idea. If anything, I'm *agreeing* with you - I'm merely showing how you can see for yourself that there is something in place that could already be used. Unless I'm missing something (quite possible!), it would seem to me that it would be fairly easy to implement a button to get the entryId (heck, I've nearly got a greasemonkey script already...and I don't even really know javascript...) and also a field to paste it into.

To get said code for any instructable, view the page source and search for the entryId. Searching for the string "{ entryId:" should return only one result, with the identifier after it being the shortened bit you want. C/P that into a URL bar after "instructables.com/id/" and it will take you to the ible in question (it will redirect you to the "proper" id). It shouldn't be too terribly hard to automate picking up the entryId (with a button, perhaps) and then to make a little frontend for teh lazies. :p

What a hassle! COME ON! View the page source? 95% of the users probably don't even know what that means and half of the 5% who do can't find the string anyway. Why is there so much resistance to the idea of building it in to the "Share" button found on each instructable? Has anyone discussed this idea with Eric? The question is, does instructables.com need a URL shortener? 5 minutes of research on Twitter proves that the answer is an emphatic YES! Thousands of shortened URLs per day are being posted on Twitter. If instructables.com had their own shortener built in, they could track a world of stats about those hits. That aside, it give US an easier way to share instructables. Is it really such a difficult concept to grasp that making it easier to share instructables is good for both the users and the company?

Wouldn't touch the stuff. You have no way of knowing where the link is taking you, which is a great way to temporarily or permanently Fn up your computing device.

If it were an Instructabl.es URL, you would know beyond a shadow of doubt that it was a valid Instructable, whereas if it were a bit.ly or ow.ly URL it could take you anywhere.

Well, that would be an argument for an instructables shortener so you know that the link will go to an instructable.

As it is, I click on shortened links all the time. Computer's still fine.

How about a code for the Ible? Just have the ptGHM9, and have a place on the homepage where you could plug in the code (search bar would work). Gives a way to shorten the URL, particularly if writing it down (business cards?), but you don't have to worry about an external redirect Fn things up.

These URL shorteners work totally seamlessly.

Already exists (just add a url bar that auto-adds the domain prefix if you must). At least, unless the www.instructables.com/id/AUF9_I is only for private/unpublished...I coulda sworn it used to be for all of them.


7 years ago

Well lately I have seen the new Simple Bots Instructables have had URL shorteners. www.instructables.com/r/rolly redirects www.instructables.com/id/simple-bots-rolly/ as well as similar things for the rest. They may be working on something. Don;t tell anyone I told you.

Well, that would be an argument for an instructables shortener so you know that the link will go to an instructable.

As it is, I click on shortened links all the time. Computer's still fine.

I remember you showing me that at Maker Faire. While it's cool, I don't see enough of a need for it. There are plenty of shorteners out there already.

Youtube is different because while it shortens the URL, it doesn't inherently change it. The code that Youtube uses to identify the video is still used.

No, no they don't. I, for one, never click on shortened URLs.