Since starting my #sugsnip challenge back in the New Year, I’ve had many opportunities to ask (some) readers what they thought. They think it’s a good idea and many have taken the opportunity to comment, either directly to me, via Twitter or via their own RTs and Paper.li’s. This has been encouraging. What has been less encouraging though, has been their (slight) misunderstanding of the role fur.ly plays in my #sugsnip, or of the huge potential fur.ly offers many educationalists and learners.
I have a few ideas for how the service can be used and will use this blog post and the next to explain a couple of these.
First let me explain fur.ly’s basic functionality, because that is one thing my discussions with #sugsnip readers have led me to believe is underestimated at best.
Also see my previous post: https://eduvel.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/fur-ly/
Services such as http://bit.ly, http://tinyurl.com, and http://snipurl.com offer URL shortening services where long URLs are greatly reduced in length (e.g. my previous EduVel blog post would reduce from https://eduvel.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/response-to-kathy-schrock/ to http://bit.ly/hdIBe1; http://tinyurl.com/6c8dddh and http://snipurl.com/27rqug respectively. A saving of 45, 39 and 40 characters – which is important when we consider the increasing use of micro-blogs such as Twitter, which are often character-limited (Twitter has a maximum 140 characters, so a saving of this size is a huge benefit).
So the first advantage of fur.ly then is URL length – as it returns a URL length of 18 characters, a saving of 47 over the original. The second and for now, most powerful advantage is that it can hold more than one web address within the URL it presents. It is a URL aggregator.
However, this can cause problems for users/readers, as it is not always obvious that there is more than one web page tucked away inside it. The following URL holds three of my Web presences: http://fur.ly/5hyw
Fur.ly presents one of the packaged URLs for you straight away. This leads the user/reader to (often) assume that this is the only page hidden behind the shortened URL – because that is what they are used to. However if you look closely at the top of the page you will see that this is in fact only one of .. (in this case three) pages:
Notice the arrow is pointing to the area that indicates which page (of how many) you are on.
For me and my #sugsnips this has a double advantage as not only do I save 47 characters (x 2, because that’s how many URLs I’ve said I will post to ‘prove’ the #sugsnip) but I also get to add extra justificational URLs to my Tweet. So – please, if you are are exploring my #sugsnip Tweets, do explore the forward arrows to see other sources of justification 🙂
Now all of this has led me to explore other potential uses for Fur.ly and I will detail those on my next blog post.