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Fastest url shortener ever – it’s like a magic time saver

Magic time saver

According to Edelman Digital’s SVP, Steve Rubel, url shortener now offers a neat little trick that saves you time and effort.

When you need a url shortened (like when you’re using Twitter and space is limited) and you need tracking information on a url you’re sharing, especially in your social network efforts, the typical steps are to (1) visit the url you need shortened and copy the url, (2) visit a url shortener website, (3) paste the url into the shortener website, and then (4) copy the url from the shortener and paste it into whatever website or social network you like.

Here’s the magic trick:

Now, skip steps one through three and use the magic time saver now offered by and type “” in your url address bar in front of any url, so for example if you wanted to shorten the url and share it on Twitter, simply go to your address bar and type in “” before “” (so it will look like “”) and hit enter which will automatically take you to where you are given a shortened url.

If you aren’t currently using url shorteners, this might not seem like a magic trick to you, but I use them every day and this is a wonderful way to skip useless steps!

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Justin Boland

    June 1, 2010 at 1:51 am


    Awesome. I also overuse and this will be very helpful. Thank you Lani.

  2. jay Arlington condos

    June 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Okay that is rad to those of who shorten daily. Perhaps even more rad though especially when touching new leads for first time or making sure the curiosity is provoked enough to effect the lead opening the link in the email you just responded to him with are branded shorteners.

    Samples of branded shorteners: You can see how somebody researching condos in Arlington–hot market–is going to have a tough time not opening that link. [note this link does not go to arlington condos–just showing you how you can brand or niche your shorteners]

    Here’s another: yes this one goes to listings in alexandria.

    In fact most productive agents could have about 5 or 6 of these in their back pocket to use for those nichey and hot communities. Mine are too broad already I’ve figured out. I need to get one for “clarendon condos” for example or “Old town townhouses.”

  3. Jim Duncan

    June 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Fantastic tip.

    I’ll save a couple more keystrokes for you, too. 🙂

    For mac users, download TextExpander and set a shortcut for Mine is now “bt.” which saves 4 keystrokes each time … not much, but it’ll add up.

  4. Jason Barone

    June 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Great tip! Here’s some alternatives that I found to be easier.

    If using Firefox, add the sidebar bookmarklet from’s tools page. Right click the bookmarklet and click “Properties”. Edit the keyboard to something like “b”.
    Instead of clicking the URL bar and following the tip in the article, you could just click the URL bar and type “b” and hit Enter. This will shorten the link and call the sidebar up. I find using the sidebar a little better because it will overlay on top of the article you are reading, instead of taking you off the article. Many times I’ll want to share the article before I read the comments so I don’t want to leave the page.
    There’s also extensions available for Keyboard Shortcut junkies where you can set a Keyboard Shortcut like “Alt-W” to automatically call the call the bookmarklet, which is essentially one-touch URL shortening.

    The same can be done in Chrome using Shortcut Manager and the bookmarklet.

    If you use multiple Bookmarklets and don’t want to add anymore, you could also use the Quix Bookmarklet ( which has many useful commands built right in, including the Bitly Sidebar. You can also add custom commands to the Quix Bookmarklet which essentially turns it into a multi purpose bookmarklet. It’s quite useful.

  5. Tassia Bezdeka

    June 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I second the toolbar – it’s a total life saver.
    Now, we’ll really be in business when Hootsuite allows you to opt out of the shortner and use the API, thus making the Hootlet a total superpower.

  6. jay Arlington condos

    June 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Firefox is the bomb–I’ve got 31 bookmark icons in toolbar.

    Here’s a quick tool–the ScreenShot Plus 3.2 widget for mac let’s you take PERFECT screen shots–better than screengrabber in firefox and save them on desktop instantly for quick insertion in blog posts or emails.


  7. Kristal Kraft

    June 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Oh! I could kiss you for this! 🙂

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