Link shortening got more prominent since 2006 when people started needing to cram links into Twitter messages, limited to 140 characters (this previous sentence is 137). While bit.ly got my attention as the default shortener in Tweetdeck, anyone can shorten links instantly by visiting bit.ly.
For those who have not done so already, I recommend the following steps:
- Register for a free account at bit.ly
- Set up the Sidebar
- Optional for Tweetdeck Users: Configure Tweetdeck to recognize your new bit.ly account
As of August 27th:
- 2,216 clicks on my link. Some users manually removed my @adamstober name from their tweets but a significant percentage did not.
- 64% of clicks came in the first 30 or so hours (word travels fast!)
- 90% of all bit.ly clicks to the Hsee WebMD article were from the bit.ly link that I created and Tony Hsieh circulated -- bit.ly creates different short links to track clicks to the same webpage for different users.
I thought "going viral" and being mentioned by one of the top 100 most followed people on Twitter might turn me into that poor kid in the UK who did not want the fame he got when Kanye randomly gave him attention on Twitter, but it did not.
I gain more Twitter followers and get more blog visits when I post about either to my Facebook account relative to the exposure outlined above. In this instance the attraction was Hsee's research and Hsieh's opinion, not the guy who connected them: me!
Open note to bit.ly: I want better geographic data on where my clicks are going from. If I have 32 clicks in the United States and 2 in Canada, that doesn't help me figure out where my clicks are coming from.