I’ve been a long time bit.ly proponent as a way to shorten links for sharing on Twitter, given their high availability and pretty analytics. Now, due to the recent .ly domain dust up, I’ve learned that bit.ly also white labels their shortening services for others – which is how sites like the Washington Post, Amazon, and TechCrunch provide unique and concise links. Fortunately, in addition to their enterprise class solution (~$1k/mo), there’s a free Bit.ly Pro tier available to those of us working with smaller budgets.
At our level, the customized bit.ly service provides two ways to leverage our new zatz.tv domain. First, anyone who uses bit.ly to share a ZNF link will end up presenting a zatz.tv string. Second, any link from any site that I choose to share will also feature our brand:
Setting up Bit.ly Pro was a pretty simple affair. I updated the zatz.tv A DNS record to point to bit.ly and uploaded a HTML file to ZNF to prove it belongs to us. Going with a .tv domain over .it (Italy) or .me (Montenegro) cost us double or triple, but it’s in line with our blog personality and these are relatively small sums of money. Lastly, bit.ly Pro isn’t the only game in town if you’re interested – I did uncover a few roll-your-own scripts and other hosted services, like Stumble Upon, that offer similar custom link shortening. Although I can’t imagine anything simpler to implement than bit.ly.