My name is kinda long. First and last put together is 13 characters. If I wanted to link to something on my blog here, it wouldn’t be very short. So, I wanted to use a nice url shortening service. Why not use tinyurl or bit.ly? Well, those suck. Just kidding. I love those guys. But what I like more is having a nice vanity url. Who wants to click on http://tinyurl.com/6s6stzf or http://bit.ly/xM3hJ2 when you have no idea what those things link to? Technically, tinyurl lets you put in a custom alias, but all the good ones are taken, except for long ones like http://tinyurl.com/jaysintrevino which, at 32 characters, kinda defeats the purpose.
Because of my craziness, I decided to just buy my own short domain and roll my own YOURLS service for my site. I bought jay.si from some Slovenian registrar, which was an, uh, interesting process. There were all kinds of roadblocks like learning about VAT numbers and enduring a 2-week legislative waiting period to make sure my site wasn’t in violation of any Slovenian laws. Crazytown.
After I finally got the domain released to me, then there was the setup of the actual url shortening PHP service. That was fun. No, really. Ignoring all the trouble I had trying to figure out how MySQL databases work and making sure the right permissions were all in place for everything to be executed correctly, it was great. I learned loads of stuff about web services. I’ve even gone back and added a short url permalink to each of my previous posts. Scissors, I figured, would be a clever symbol for cutting down a lengthy url. So now you know that if you see my custom domain, it’s gonna link to my site somewhere.
I’ll try my best to keep it in-house, and use other sites’ services for their own sites; I love vanity url hacks like flic.kr, youtu.be, itun.es, and lifehac.kr because, again, you know where it’s taking you. Even Pepsi has pep.si, which also uses the .si top-level domain. Hopefully this forces me to create more content and link to my site more often, which should help justify the cost of all of this. We’ll see.