It can be very frustrating when you send a URL link to a colleague just to discover the transmission was unsuccessful due to its length. To ensure this does not happen, I have always used TinyURL to shorten long URL’s
To illustrate, let’s say the original URL is http://baseportal.com/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/Publishing_Initiatives/main&localparams=1&db=main&cmd=list&range=0,9999&cmd=all&Id=188. The length is 135 characters. If I utilize TinyURL, the program produces a more manageable 25 character URL of http://tinyurl.com/dnaoer. This new URL will not “break in emails” or expire.
I was also familiar with two other sites that provide a similar service. The first is Cligs. The added value of this site is the analytics, which tracks the number of hits to a link. This site does require free registration.
Another site is Bitly. It offers a variety of features. With the growing popularity of Twitter, and the need for shorter URL’s, this is a nice site. This site (with registration) allows you to also track your links and maintains a history.
I then began looking at other services. I was surprised by the number available. I learned about http://notlong.com/ from WisBlawg. In addition, an excellent review of the various services can be found in a recent post at Search Engine Land.