Thursday, July 30, 2009

How To Use Shorter Web Addresses -

Update Dec 23, 2011:  My new favorite URL shortener is It integrates nicely with many social networks like Twitter and with many social networking management tools. And it has good stats to see how many times your shortened URL's are clicked.
A few days ago, I wanted to add a link to a comment on Facebook. Sounds easy enough, right? Just cut and paste it. But this link was buried so deep in the government website I was viewing that it had an enormously long web address (URL) ... 258 characters long! Well, that wouldn't work on Facebook. It won't work on Twitter, and it probably won't even work in your email because it might break the link into 2 or 3 lines thus making it useless.

So what do you do with really long links like this?

There is a great service for just this purpose called It's free, it's easy to use and it works! You simply copy the long URL and paste it into the box on and then enter a really short word in the second field to complete your TinyURL. Next, click the button that says "Make TinyURL!" and then somebody somewhere waves a magic wand and your new tiny URL will automatically take you to your really long URL. Confusing? Let me show you.

Note: This is an image, not an actual entry form.

Here is an example from the TinyURL website.
Change this really long URL by copying and pasting it into the first entry field:
Enter the word "unicycles" in the second entry field.

Click on "Make TinyURL!" and you'll get this tinyURL:
Which one would you rather cut and paste into an email or social networking site? Which one is easier to tell people about and easier for people to remember?

It's not only free, it also saves your unique TinyURL forever so you can keep using it again and again. So far the site has created over 300 million Tiny URLs, so it definitely works. Keep in mind next time you need to tell somebody about a really, really long web address!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

How To Synchronize Your Bookmarks / Favorites Across Multiple Browsers

Imagine if your favorites/bookmarks could be automatically synchronized across every computer you use. Do you want to have the same bookmarks on your home computer that you have on your work computer? Do you want the same bookmarks on your laptop that you have on your desktop? Or do you use multiple browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and even the Safari browser?

With Xmarks, you can now "seamlessly synchronize bookmarks across all your computers"!!!

Just download and install this free bookmarking tool, sign-up for your free account, and you're ready to go. Download to each computer you use and download the proper version for each browser you use. That's all you have to do! From then on, all of your bookmarks & favorites will be synchronized!

Plus, you'll always have an online backup of all of your bookmarks! So if (when?) your computer crashes, you don't have to worry about losing all of your bookmarked websites! And, since they're online, you can even access them from someone else's computer; just login to your account at and your bookmarks will be there.

One more great feature is that you can use Xmarks online to organize, reorganize or cleanup your bookmarks. Just drag bookmarks around to different folders, delete bookmarks, create or delete folders, etc. All of those changes will then synchronize from your account on the Xmarks website down to every computer and browser where you have installed xmarks!

It is easy to use, it's free! I have been using Xmarks for about 6 months and for me it has become indispensable. But I'm not alone. Xmarks has been downloaded over 14 million times and has synchronized over 775 million bookmarks.

Okay, so what's the catch? Well the folks who made it are not completely altruistic. They're actually building one of the largest "search engines" in the world showing and ranking websites by how often they have been bookmarked. Makes sense, doesn't it?

by Brian Baer,
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