There are many apis that offer shortening of urls tinyurl.com, tinyurl.cc, bit.ly and many others which have all been useful over the years as services that take a URL like this: http://www.seanshadmand.com/2009/07/18/give-a-hoot-track-your-tweets/ and convert it to a url like this: http://tinyurl.com/len47k. Once the tiny url is clicked a user is quickly redirected to the true url of the site.
Now, with the advent of the Facebook status and more recently Twitter tweets, fitting text based information into a very small space is ever more important and shortening URL’s has become big business and an interesting space to be in for startups these days. (check out some techcrunch articles here at http://bit.ly/jytKD and http://ow.ly/hWSV).
I have recently been turned on to yet another player in the field found at http://ow.ly. This url shortner is provided by a comapny called HootSuite and not only provides shortened urls but aggregates all of your twitter feeds in to one place and allows you to quickly convert all urls within a tweet into shortened ow.ly based urls. The cool thing is those shortened url’s also provide tracking analysis so you can see how many people clicked your link in a line graph inline with all of your posts. Pretty cool, if you twitter at all or can find it usefull to track a urls number of clicks beit through an email or web site give ow.ly or hootsuite a try.