A journey across URLs, by Clément Guillot

For my first post on the Social Media Club blog, I decided to take you through a journey around the world of URLs.

The emergence of short URLs generated the creation, for reasons such as phonetic or mnemonics, of extensions not corresponding to the country of origin (or .com) of the service, but to different countries.

Before traveling, a quick look on why this occurred

Two main reasons:

First, the need to promote a web service can be done via another web site.

In this case do not worry: you click on a link, whatever it entails.

However, this is more complicated when it comes to  »external » promotion on TV or display media type, where exposure is very quick, or on media such as press where a 0 is easily confused with an O for example, making URL entry difficult.

Second, the evolution of social sharing has reinforced this need.

Because a short URL is easier to share via email, SMS or BBM, and the social networks (especially Twitter) are made in such a way that the gain in character becomes paramount.

A twit like this : Federer Sets Record at French Open http://nyti.ms/kZwLGi

Seems more efficient than this one : http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/05/29/sports/tennis/AP-TEN-French-Open.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&seid=auto

Now, the journey

Many media outlets, community sites and big brands have embarked in the reduction of URLs.

I offer various tours:

  • The Tour of Enchanting Islands

The two New York newspapers show us Montserrat, a small island north of Guadeloupe, with the New York Times (nyti.ms) and Sao Tome and Principe on the other side of the Atlantic with the NY Post (nyp.st).

Let’s go to the Pacific with ESPN (es.pn) which takes us to the Pitcairn Islands and Mashable (on.mash.to) that makes us discover the Tonga islands farther west.

  • Western Europe from North to South

Thanks to the Google Group we discover Greenland (goo.gl) but also Belgium (youtu.be).

Meanwhile Yahoo, Pepsi and Facebook are taking us farther south in Italy (yahoo.it) and in the young republic of Slovenia (pep.si) and that of Montenegro (fb.me).

  • Eurasian from West to East

The journey begins in Armenia with Instagram (instagr.am) before crossing the steppes, with Techcrunch that takes us to China (tcrn.ch), and the Yellow Sea with Flickr (flic.kr) in Korea.

Finally, one of the prescribers, and certainly one of the most common, bit.ly, takes us with Dailymotion (dai.ly) … in Libya with the problems that may arise in the current context (See CNN article on the subject: http://t.co/RYpuVgc).

Feel free to complete this round the world and discover other countries.

Clément Guillot

About the author :

Clément Guillot is marketing director at L’Equipe.fr (#1 sport media brand in France), where he is in charge of web, mobile and tablets as well as SRM and CRM activities. Sports fan, he is also new and social media addict, particularly around topics such as geolocation, realtimeweb and internet of datas and objects.

Suivre @clemente69

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