I just found/noticed a great feature on the tinyurl.com service, Custom URL. The tinyurl.com service has been around for a while. It enables you to scrunch up a long link into a small link. This is really useful if your are posting a link to friends in your myface, people space thing, Twitter, just an email or to jot down in your notes.
For instance if you wanted to make reference to my recent post in this blog about the upcoming US presidential elections. I just paste my relatively long URL http://stevesgenericblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/at-least-maximum-term-is-8-years.html into the tinyurl homepage, and it gives back this short URL http://tinyurl.com/696t93.
With the custom URL service, not only can I make a short link, I can also make it fit the destination, for instance my blog post link can now be http://tinyurl.com/only-8yrs, which much nicer.
Or a shortcut to this blog http://tinyurl.com/stevesblog ;-)
Here's some more to play with:
What about malicious links though? If you do use these shortened links from untrusted sources, beware of disguised links to malicious sites. Tinyurl addresses this issue by enabling you to register to preview tinyurl links. Just tick the checkbox on their homepage, it'll set a cookie in your browser that causes the tinyurl site to present you with the expanded link allowing you to choose whether you wish to click through to the page.