How To Post Long Meaningful URL in Twitter

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Twitter (you can follow me here) has the annoying habit of shortening your long and meaningful url to a short meaningless jumble using tinyurl, even when the full url and accompanying text fits into their 140 character limit. For example I posted this article on how you can include multiple jar files in a single jar file in Ant build tool. Twitter automatically shortened the url to this meaningless jumble - So how can you paste meaningfull url’s in Twitter without jumbling?

Eric Burke extensively blogged about this problem and provided one suggestion of using upside down urls like this - /ƃolq/ɯoɔ˙suǝddɐɥʇɐɥʇɟɟnʇs//:dʇʇɥ. The problem with the solution is that it is not very legible and you will have to reverse it and type it in the browser before you can use it.

I agree with with Eric in that it is actually a misquotation and tampering of content:

But…my Tweets are MY WORDS. Given that URLs often describe their destination, I choose my words in combination with URLs to say something specific. Cramming a coherent thought down to 140 characters is a challenging and fun exercise, and it is very frustrating when a flawed algorithm changes what I type without asking.

In fact, I think this problem is more profound. Changing what people write without asking permission is in fact a misquotation:

Omission of important context: The context can be important for determining the overall argument the quoted person wanted to make…

I have a simple solution. TinyURL allows you to customize an url. You can use it to customize your url with meaningful words and then use that url to post on twitter.

For example I tweeted about iPhone 3G pricing in India pointing to my blog article. I used the customized URL - which Twitter didn’t try to re-shorten and the full URL shows up in the browser status bar. However Twitter did  shorten the displayed text to -…, at least it better than The issue has been reported in GetSatisfaction too.

July 31, 2010: 4:22 am

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April 12, 2010: 10:17 pm

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September 28, 2009: 3:02 am

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