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Are you calling me short?

Date Published: 15/06/2011

We’ve been getting a bit tech-clever this morning.

With social media becoming increasingly part of the way many of us communicate, there comes a need for all kinds of little add-ons and services that make it easier, or help us to stay informed.

With Twitter (perhaps mercifully) keeping what you can send to a 140-character limit, many people use services that shorten the web link they want to tweet. That shortening service allow you to put a much shorter link into your tweet and, when someone clicks on that link, it redirects them to the full web address (or URL – Uniform Resource Locator, to give it its full, fancy name!).

We sometimes also use this method to putĀ manageableĀ links into our printed newsletters, so that people don’t have to laboriously copy out the full thing if they want to visit the page.

There are a couple of issues with this. Relying on a third-party service puts you at its mercy and if it closes/crashes/gets hacked or just develops a bug, all your links could be lost. The second issue is one of trust. If your users don’t recognise the link address they might not be so inclined to click on it. We all know about the horrors lurking on the interwebs for the unwary!

So, today, we’ve put in place our own, special URL shortening service. From now on, the shortened links from official OF&G channels (and, in time, perhaps some from our individual staff members’ accounts) will start with

Get it? O, F and G me…

Each link will have its own unique, short address after that last forward slash. Sometimes this will be a random number or selection of characters and numbers, though we do have the ability to customise them to make them more memorable.

So, from here on in, when you see an link, you’ll know what it is (and you may have even followed the first one from Twitter to this blog post…).