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Twitter Tools and Custom Shortened URLs

I’ve been using Alex King’s Twitter Tools for sometime now on some other Wordpress sites I’ve developed. It’s clean, simple and just plain works. However, one thing that’s never really thrilled me about twitter is its use of bit.ly or any of the other automatic URL shortening. Mr. King provides a bit.ly plugin that lets you use your own bit.ly API, so you can tract traffic though your link, but that’s only a minor improovment.

The best solution, in my opinion is to use a custom short URL that’s provided though your own domain. This has several advantages, the biggest for me is that it makes it clear where the link is actually going. However, short canonical URLs are also being touted as a way to avoid massive internet link-rot created by the myrid of URLs services like bit.ly and tinyurl can produce. In fact I’m rather opposed to those services (even if I do use them) for security and clarity reasons. You can read more about rev=”canonical” urls here and here.

Fortunately, running a custom URL shortening service on your own blog isn’t difficult. In fact there’s already a Wordpress plug-in that handles both the shortening and redirection.

All that’s left for my purposes is tying that shortened canonical URL into Twitter Tools so that my tweets don’t get bit.ly or tinyurl links.

What You’ll Need

  1. Rev Canonical – this provides an SEO and URL shortening mechanism
  2. Twitter Tools – to get the updates on twitter.
  3. My TwitterTools RevCanonical URL shortening plug-in – ties it all togeather