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URL shortening services come in handy especially in SMS messaging and Twitter where we only get 140 or so characters to get our message across. URL shortening services generally use the following format:
Nonsense code often mixes numbers, symbols and letters. Not easy to type on a mobile phone, which already makes typing a challenge. Some allow you to personalize the nonsense_code part, but with so many using the services -- you may not be able to use your word(s) of choice.
At first, Smub sounds confusing. Its instructions say to create a shorter URL by entering smub.it/ to the LEFT of http:// in any browser address bar. Usually, users replace the http with ftp or some other internet standard, or put something else before the http://, which breaks the URL.
Before using Smub, users need to create a free account. When doing this, create a short account ID otherwise it defeats the purpose of creating a short URL. Companies can use this as a branding opportunity.
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How it Works
The video best explains how Smub works. The actual link to the video is:
A user with the ID of "Janet" can shorten it to:
This makes the URL more memorable and easier to share. If the company's brand name is "Janet," it helps the company's prospects and clients remember the company whenever the company shares the URL using Smub.
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Trying the Service
The service creates a new Smub as soon as you register for the free service. The tutorial Smub gives you the steps for creating Smubs.
The service provides a plug-in to create new Smub links. Its toolbar lets you enter your ID ("meryl" in the above example) and the personal keyword ("tutorial" in the example).
Smub also provides a bookmarklet for Firefox and Safari browsers, but it won't work on the iPhone or iPod Touch browsers since you can't drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks. Instead, tap the URL of the page you want to Smub to put the cursor in front of the http: and type "smub.it/" and away you go. This takes you to the smub window for creating the new Smub where you can enter tags and comments, if you'd like. If you're not signed in, it'll ask you to sign in first.
Overall, Smub works well with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It takes less work to enter smub.it/ than to select and copy the URL, go to a URL shortening web site, paste the URL and then copy the new shorter URL to share. You can share Smub URLs from within your account by email or social networks including Facebook, MySpace, and twitter.
Smub keeps track of all your Smubs and makes them searchable. You can edit Smubs to add tags and comments long after creating the smub. Smub has much potential and it'll be interesting to see how the public receives new service.