University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Our college is looking at offering a URL shortening service. If your college/university has implemented a URL shortening service, can you share your experience?

1. Can you tell me what prompted your college to develop the URL shortener? We’re discussing it now and there are several people who have asked why we don’t just use a 301 redirect.

2. Our plan was to offer the URL shortener to only staff through the portal, but I notice the University of Nebraska - Lincoln URL shortener application is public. Can you share your university’s thoughts on the public vs. private URL shortener?

3. What requirements did your users have for the URL shortener? We’ve looked at cli.gs and bit.ly as our models, and like the feature that cli.gs offers of being able to change the page link after the URL has been created.

Deborah Edwards-Onoro
Web Services
Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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At the moment we do shorten it to monash.edu/text but it has to be requested and approved and is usually for campaigns.

Otherwise, I use ow.ly as part of Hootsuite and bit.ly, just so that that we can still keep track of and measure click-throughs.
Great thread, and very timely (even though the original is a year old...)

Ohio State University is about to launch a URL shortening service for our faculty, staff, and students. I was wondering if anyone has considered a "Terms of Service" agreement for the URL shortening service. Bitly and others have this, and I wondered what your thoughts are on the need for a university to provide this/protect itself.

-don't violate copyright, -don't link to malware, -don't post libelous, profane, illegal content, etc...
What about bit.ly Pro? You have to make a request for their Pro service and then you can create your own branded URL shortener. I *think* UCLA created their URL shortener through the bit.ly Pro platform: http://www.ucla.edu/uclain/

I just got granted a Pro account but haven't had a chance to set it up -- anyone else's thoughts on bit.ly Pro?
Hi Naveen. Yes, UCLA partnered with bit.ly Pro to create http://ucla.in. We also created our own API so that developers could use http://ucla.in in a more automated fashion as well.

bit.ly Pro is free and the development time is relatively quick to implement. We've had great feedback and usage from it.

You can read more about it here:

http://www.takadesigns.com/blog/2010/02/22/creating-a-custom-brande...
We created our own here at FHU. We did it primarily to have an "fhu.edu" address when shortening URLs for our social media outlets.

Ours is public, but we just don't advertise it outside of our campus community. We also added an API to it so it could be integrated with other web projects and our CS students could use it if they wished. fhu.edu/s
At Naz we implemented go.naz.edu in Django. It was one of the simplest Django projects ever. We demonstrated it at the HighEdWeb conference in 2009 and made the source code available. (pardon the archaic design).

go.naz.edu is for internal consumers to be able to create short URLs for specific campaigns. The system records who created the URL, which is useful when there is a contentious slug (the word "global" is very popular), and slugs can be set to "expire" after a campaign has ended.
I have been looking into creating our own service - so I have been reading this with interest. Some good pointers.

I had started my own research with this article
http://lifehacker.com/5335216/make-your-own-url-shortening-service

Is anyone, using the shortener for only faculty and staff, using CAS to authenticate?

Are you limiting them to your .edu URLs/site for shortening?

Are you automating URL shortening when someone uses a service like bit.ly to use your tinyURL instead of the bit.ly?

Thanks,

Debbie

(always late to the party)

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