Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker

My latest addiction

So, as those of you who have been paying close attention know, I collect links that interest me.

Those links then get posted once a day to my journal.

And they also get thrown over to Twitter.

The thing about Twitter (pretty much the only interesting thing, other than "a lot of people use it" and "it defaults to showing things publically") is that its posting limit is 140 characters. And because of this a whole bunch of url shorteners exploded into being - sites which take a given URL and produce a shortened version of it.

I use TwitterFeed to take a feed of my links from delicious and then repost them to LJ, which it happily does every half an hour. And as part of that it shortens the URLs using the url shortener of your choice. In my case, it uses Bitly, largely because it was the default.

What's interesting about Bitly is that it can do its job anonymously (you throw a url at it, it throws you back a shorter one) or using a key - which means that it associates the links with your Bitly account (which, obviously, you'd need to have to get the key in the first place).

Which then allows you to analyse what links are being clicked on, and where those links are coming from.

Now, this isn't something, so far as I can see, that I can do anything with. But I do sit there occasionally, wondering what makes so many people click on one link over another, bypassing something I find fascinating to click on something that gave me a moment's amusement.

But I try not to click refresh on my stats too often. That way madness lies :->

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