If you were an early Twitter adopter, you've come to know and tolerate the shortened link (e.g. http://bit.ly/LINK). They allow users of the character-limited service to get in more message by reducing the number of letters in a URL. They're useful, but they do have drawbacks, as Leigh Dodds points out at O'Reilly Radar:

Chances are, you're reading this article after clicking on a shortened link. And if, like many modern infovores, your online reading is driven by your social network rather than your feed reader, most of the pages you've visited today were mediated by a shortened link.

Link shorteners have become ubiquitous over the last few years, and they're an increasingly important part of the social fabric of the web. But is that a good thing? Below I explore some of the issues to be aware of, both as a user of link shortening services and a consumer of shortened links.

Read the full story at O'Reilly Radar.

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