MacMost Now 129: Shorter URLs and Hiding Your Email Address

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at two Web services. The first, http://tinyurl.com, will take a long Web address and shorten it to make it easier to send in email. The second, http://tinymail.me, will hide your email address.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today I am going to show you how to shorten URL's for e-mails, and even how to shorten your e-mail address.
So you've probably been in the situation before: You go to a webpage that's really cool and want to send it to a friend so you copy and paste the address of the web page into an email and send it to your friend. But you get an e-mail back from them saying "Hey, it didn't work when I went to the web page, I got an error message." What's probably happening is that your URL, or address of the web page was so long that their e-mail program cut it into two lines and then when they clicked on it, it only gave them the first line in their web browser. So what you need to do in situations like this is to shorten the URL. Now you can do this with any URL no matter how long it is. Let's take a look at an example.
So here I am at google maps. And I want to show my friends an address. So, I go and I find exactly where I want. And then I want to send it to them so I click on link and I get this little paste link in email or IM thing here. I copy it, now you can see here this URL that I highlighted, this is huge! It's massive so I paste it in my browser to see how long it is up here. Then what I want to do is I want to send this to them in e-mail. So normally I would open my normal e-mail program and I would paste this in there. But it may wrap on them and not give them a valid link. So I look at it a better way to do it. I'm going to copy it and then go to another website called tiny URL. And when you go to tiny URL.com it gives you a little prompt here at the beginning to enter a long URL so I paste that URL in there and that entire thing's in there and I say make tiny URL. And, it tells me, hey this was the original URL, you can see how long it was; this is the new one. Now if I copy and paste this one into the web browser at the top I can see I actually get redirected to exactly what it was I was looking at before. So this is great so now I go ahead and create an e-mail and paste in this really tiny path to the web page. I can do this with any URL anywhere on the internet. Now this can be done even easier if your using firefox, there is several different plugins for firefox that will allow you to quickly create a tiny URL from the current page your on. There are also lots of other competitors to tiny URL.com so you may want to check them out and maybe find one that you like better. So here's another website that's similar, its called tinymail dot m e. And at this website, instead of doing URLS you can do e-mail addresses. And you may have a long e-mail address but that's not the point here. The point here is to protect your e-mail address. Say you want to post your email address on a web page but your afraid that spammers are just going to read the web page and put your email address in a spam list. well you can enter your email address out here and click on protect it. And then what you'll get is you'll get a link like that or even just something to really quickly embed this into a web page. if you go to this short tinymail.me link, this is what you get. You actually get something called a captcha which is one of those things where you have to type in the word you see. This is potentially made hard for computers to be able to interpret so spammers can't go out and grab all sorts of information from web forms like this. So when somebody goes to you e-mail you they get this thing, they enter in the words they see there, and then are redirected to sending you an email, just like they would normally do with a normal e-mail address inside of a post or a web page. Thanks to the captain for the tinymail.me tip. Til next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 129: Shorter URLs and Hiding Your Email Address”

    Daniel
    9/4/08 @ 8:21 pm

    While I enjoyed your coverage about these two services. Most people know of “TinyURL” but never heard of “Tinymail.me”.
    I keep a shortcut of both in my menu bar on my browser, to find and get to them quickly. The mail one is very handy for group forums.

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