I used TINYURL as my URL shortener of choice until I found TR.IM. TRIM lasted quite a while and then out of nowhere, it shut down. About a year later it came back, but I had already moved on to BIT.LY. Eventually, BITLY turned into a bloated product with a horrible UI/UX, abandoning the value of simple, easy-to-use web functionality. I didn’t want to put my short links at the mercy of yet another service I so I decided to write my own. I was fortunate enough to have purchased a 2-character Lybian domain before the registry restricted purchases of names with fewer than 4 character to Lybian citizens, and thus, GU.LY was born.
GULY (http://gu.ly) is my home rolled version of a URL shortener. No doubt there are more active, public URL shorteners than you can shake a stick at and this one, in a lot of ways, is no different. It works on the same premise as all URL shorteners by responding with a “Location” + redirect URL header and an HTTP status of “301 Moved”. I don’t make any money from it and don’t advertise it, but I and several friends do use it.
Today, URL shorteners are about the most blase of Internet functionality there is. Most major websites and moderately popular Internet applications have short URL functionality built-in. Even when they don’t, web programmers generally take URL length into consideration when designing applications. That’s good. It was a problem that needed solving.
No one talks about URL shorteners anymore but I like having my own little product — simple, easy, fast, bloat-free — with an impossibly short domain name.