Links grow blogs. Short URL’s break blogs.
Links are the lifeblood of blogs. Blogs are successful because of reciprocal links. This is broken by short URL’s. All of this is broken by Twitter as a default behavior.
Short URL’s hide the link destination. They are the anti-link. The link destination is completely hidden. When used in a Twitter post, the destination of a short URL link can only be assumed by the content of the tweet. Someone may be inclined to follow links to your blog posts, but not to other sites you’re linking too (we haven’t got all day!) With a short URL they don’t know where they’re going and don’t bother to click.
The Short URL Wordpress Plugin allows short URL aliases to be created for posts on your Wordpress blog. This would turn http://tinyurl.com/6a7d4b into http://martinwright.tv/u/5. Not quite as short, but much more useful, I know which site I’m being taken to. Is it short enough? Yes. Twitter only applies TinyURL to URL’s over 30 characters.
Would you prefer that other bloggers mentioned your posts on Twitter using http://tinyurl.com/6a7d4b or http://martinwright.tv/u/1? Remember that Twitter is searchable, if links to your site are easy to read they’re easy to find.
If you are a blogger that cross posts on Twitter you are creating blind links without destination. Domain specific URL’s give better quality links and descriptive URL’s that will give you more clickthroughs. Stop using TinyURL for promoting your blog posts, it’s making you invisible!
Martin Wright sees both good and evil in short URL’s. He has tried to ‘fix’ this problem with beta.twitseek.com.