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Idea taken from doctype.com

When a question is asked an auto generated short URL (perhaps using a special "short domain" purchased for just this purpose) provided for use in twitter, or if passing along in SMS format.

On 10/19/2011 a blog post on Stackexchange.com for podcast #23 provided notice that StackExchange.com has the amazingly short URL s.tk so it would seem that the StackExchange.com sees value in having a "short URL", using s.tk as the domain you could access a question on stackexchange.com such as s.tk/joel to access Joel Spolsky's user page on StackExchange.com

It would seem that the top sites (such as StackOverflow.com, SuperUser.com, ServerFault.com, etc.) would also benefit from a short URL as well as an "auto generated" short URL for questions on top SE sites.

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While I know that there are plenty of easy ways to get a short URL for twitter I was thinking more about SMS format for texting; however I expected to get more of a response if I mentioned twitter. –  Nip Oct 15 '09 at 16:50
Try removing the title and abbreviating questions to q: meta.stackexchange.com/q/21361 Should be short enough for anyone. –  Josh Mar 31 '13 at 11:59

4 Answers 4

A brand-new SO question URL is at minimum 43 characters today. That's cutting off the title, leaving only the protocol, domain, and path through the question ID.

That leaves you a whopping 97 characters in which to Tweet your Twitter (or whatever you kids are calling it now). You might think that's not enough characters to write anything useful with, but frankly, neither is 140 characters and you accepted that limitation when you signed on. So, suck it up. If you finally do realize that you don't have room for everything you want to write, then write a blog entry somewhere, include in it the link to the SO question in all of its glory, complete with a proper title and perhaps a title tip listing the author and then link to that in your Twitter Tweet.

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While true in 2009, nowadays http://stackoverflow.com/q/4727477 works too, being 34 characters for SO. That's 9 more to type, an increase of almost 10%! –  Arjan Jan 18 '11 at 18:15
@Arjan: And that's just enough room to write "ROTFLMAO!" –  Shog9 Jan 18 '11 at 18:17

For most twitter apps, it's literally one click to generate the shortened url...is that really too tasking? :)

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Register a domain, have Apache run on it (I'm sure IIS is able to do that too somehow), and redirect everything you get to http://stackoverflow.com/questions/$1

Or do that in an iframe and put lots of blinky ads around it. Soon, you're going to be rich.

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SO busts out of iframes :) –  Jonathan Sampson Sep 11 '09 at 14:37
Then a frame-buster-buster is needed. –  random Sep 11 '09 at 15:14
Actually if you get credit for views, all you would have to do is delay loading the IFrame (using Javascript) until after the ads have loaded. –  Brad Gilbert Jan 20 '11 at 7:01

I'm thinking of a custom shortened domain, like Wordpress has wp.me. There's probably some worthy 2-character domain name that's catchy (and most importantly available). I'm such a nice guy that I didn't just register a very obvious one.

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