“What’s a permalink?”

Earlier today I tweeted at CllrKemp that he needed to learn about permalinks.

That’s because whenever he tweets about a new blog post (which by the way, is always worth reading), he uses the base address of his website – http://richardkemp.wordpress.com/

The problem with doing this is that if you come across the tweet a couple of days later, the tweet will be pointing at the most recent blog post. It may no longer have anything to do with the rest of the tweet.

Every blog post you create has a permanent address that refers to only one post. So today’s post by Richard Kemp about new councillors has a “permalink” that is http://richardkemp.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/some-advice-to-new-councillors/

Now the clear problem with that is that it is too long and won’t fit in a tweet. But any time you use that you can be sure it will point at exactly the right content, whilst the base address of the blog will just point at the most recent content.

The way most people square the circle is to use URL shorteners. I use bit.ly – it converts the long url above to http://bit.ly/mwe8Uh – again, we’re back to something short enough to fit into a tweet.

The other advantage of bit.ly is that with a simple twist, you can also satisfy your urge for metrics. If you add a + to the end – ie http://bit.ly/mwe8Uh+ – you get a page that tells you how many of your readers actually clicked on the link.

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This entry was posted in Tech.

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