Imagine you’re in a meeting, seated around a table with eight other people. You want to share a URL with them, but it’s several levels down in the hierarachy of the particular website. What do you do?
If you’re all already connected online via a shared document or text messaging, then you could just drop the URL into a message for them to click on.
But what if you’re not all connected, or you don’t know the names and email addresses of all the people you want to share the URL with? ShoutKey is a great temporary URL shortener designed for exactly this kind of situation.
There are lots of URL shortening services available online that make it easier to share long URLs, especially on social media or text messaging where you may be limited in character length. Some of these include Bitly, TinyURL, Ow.ly, and Goo.gl.
All of these services can be used directly from the web by copying in a URL; they then generate a shorter URL. Some like Bitly, also offer additional features for users with accounts, such as being able to customize the shorter URL so you can choose something relevant to your topic. Otherwise, most generated short URLs are a string of random characters.
What makes Shoutkey different?
ShoutKey was designed to make it easy to share shortened links with humans, whether by saying out loud or in written form. To use ShoutKey, you copy the URL you want to shorten in the box on their website, select the length of time you want it to be active (in selected increments from 5 minutes to 24 hours), and the website generates a shortened URL using a randomly chosen English word (plus the domain shoutkey.com).
Keep in mind
Since Shoutkey URLs are designed to be temporary, they’re not a substitute for one of the other URL services, which are better to use in social media posts or in emails when you want the link to remain active indefinitely. Additionally, since they are intentionally based on dictionary words, they are not secure from discovery, although if you are that concerned about security you probably shouldn’t be using a URL shortener anyway.
I learned about ShoutKey a couple weeks ago at a conference breakout session. It’s easy to say these URLs out loud or to write them on a whiteboard so everyone around the table can get to the URL.
[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Husky]
How do you use URL shorteners to be more productive? Let us know in the comments!Return to Top