short-domains

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short domains are commonly used on the IndieWeb for personal URL shortening, or clever domain hacks. This page documents the short domains in use (or previously) by IndieWeb community members, analysis of each short domain's reliability/dependability, and just overall experience.

For more information about specific top-level-domains, see top-level_domain#Domains

Why personal short URLs

Backlinks from syndication

A key part of owning your own content that you publish first yourself and syndicate elsewhere (POSSE) is providing backlinks (permalinks) to the originals from syndicated copies on social silos.

Some silos have post length limits (e.g. Foursquare checkin notes are limited to 200 characters). Better to provide short URLs (permashortlinks) instead so you can syndicate more of your content.

Just like your content, your short URL shouldn't be sharecropped, thus you need your own personal short URL domain rather than using bitly or some other vulnerable shortlink service.

Permashortcitations

Permashortcitations are permashortids in the form of a classical parenthetical summary citation.

Short domains enable constructing of permashortcitations of the form:

  • (example.me t1234)

This is particularly useful for providing less distracting citations. E.g. Twitter does not auto-link standalone|ccTLD]] short-domains, thus making it possible to embed unlinked permashortcitations at the end of your notes which fit completely (including said permashortcitations) within Twitter's 140 character limit.

See also: POSSE entire note to Twitter

Original post discovery

Both permashortlinks and permashortcitations themselves enable original-post-discovery, for others to easily automatically find your original posts on your site purely from your syndicated tweet copies. Such automatic discovery in turn enables more indieweb-friendly reply-to behavior, whereby an indieweb user can write a post "in-reply-to" a tweet for example, and have their blogging system automatically post a rel-in-reply-to link to the original post instead (while still threading the POSSE'd copies together on Twitter).

Entry length limitations

Many systems either place absolute length limits on the text that can be entered into a field such a comment box, or have practical limits, that when exceeded lead to fragility, both of which provide incentive for shorter URLs, to allow more space for readable text.

Absolute length limitations:

(Previously: Twitter has a 140 character length limit, but URLs posted to Twitter are https t.co'd and thus count for exactly 23 characters for http(s) URLs no matter what the actual number of characters in the URL)

Practical length limitations:

  • 70 characters: email - some systems wrap at 70 characters, thereby forceably truncating what of a link is auto-linked in a client, thus hyperlinking to a URL other than what the author wrote.

Easier to use

Short URLs also enable, and/or better encourage additional URL sharing scenarios where you are unable to either click the URL, or even copy and paste the URL, and instead have to type it in by hand:

Additional Why Short URLs

For more on this, see: why short URLs and why do you need your own.

IndieWeb Examples

aaron.pk

Short URLs at aaron.pk send a 302 redirect to a route at aaronparecki.com which expands it to the full post URL. This way there is no server-side code required on aaron.pk other than a web server that can send redirects.

Example:

http://aaron.pk/4W8a
-> http://aaronparecki.com/r/4W8a
-> http://aaronparecki.com/2014/05/18/1/
-> http://aaronparecki.com/2014/05/18/1/imessage

aaronpk.com

Aaron Parecki runs Polr on aaronpk.com since 2019-05-13, which provides the ability to create custom shortlinks to any URL. Any link on aaronpk.com that does not exist in that project's database is forwarded to aaronparecki.com.

jmb.so

The root domain jmb.so simply redirects to jonnybarnes.uk. The only type of short URL set up so far is for notes. The URL scheme for notes used on jonnybarnes.uk is very simple. They take the form jonnybarnes.uk/note/{id} where {id} is a NewBase60 encoding of a decimal number. The associated short URL is jmb.so/t/{id}.

cted.us

Redirects to colintedford.com, which uses the Custom Shortlink Structure plugin for [[WordPress].

di5.us

Redirects to david.shanske.com with a shortener.

mmg.re

Marty McGuire redirects requests to the short domain mmg.re to his site at martymcgui.re via an algorithmic scheme described on the permashortlink page.

jvt.me

  Jamie Tanna uses jvt.me as his primary domain, rather than jamietanna.co.uk, which he also owns. He's written about it a little more at Why www.jvt.me?

...

add notes on your own implementation here.

Criticisms

  • I’m indifferent about short URLs. it’s rare that I’ve felt I really need one, and for me the value doesn’t outweigh the pain of maintaining/paying for another domain, hosting, writing more code --Waterpigs.co.uk 14:05, 3 September 2013 (PDT)
  • 2014-11-07 Feedly shuts down its short URL service http://blog.feedly.com/2014/10/28/feedly-url-shortener-retired/
  • if someone have a short domain – why not just use it as a main one, and rewrite url-scheme to always be "short urls"? -- DYM 05:15, 26 April 2016 (PDT)
  • 我也不觉的超短域名有什么好,短域名本身的含义就不明显,除了节省几个字符外,我觉得还是不用为好。象我的 eureka.name eeblog.net 和 eeurl.com 这样的域名,难道还要另外准备短域名?我觉得没必要了。
    • English translation: I don’t think there is anything good about ultra-short domain names. The meaning of short domain names is not obvious. Apart from saving a few characters, I think it’s better not to use them. For domain names like my eureka.name eeblog.net and eeurl.com, should I prepare short domain names separately? I don't think it is necessary anymore

See Also