On a whim I decided to go look for a domain name for my own link shortener. Within a few minutes I’d found that wmk.me was available, and even better that GoDaddy were selling it for $8.99 for the first year. I grabbed it and then went looking for something to do with it.
I have a Google Apps account for hosting some of my activities, and I discovered they have added a Google Labs link shortening service. It was very easy to set up, but its main drawback is they only allow link shortening using a subdomain. If you see any links for me on the domain l.wmk.me they are hosted by Google.
I then spotted that my current favourite link manager, bit.ly, offers a bit.ly Pro service which allows you to use your own domain with bit.ly – everything else is the same as the normal service and it gets used automatically. I requested access to the service and heard back from them within a few hours. It was extremely easy to set up as well – although one part took a day waiting for DNS to propogate changes that verified my domain ownership – and I’m very pleased with it. Any links on wmk.me are hosted there, and I’m able to use both it and Google’s service at the same time.
The one gap in both services is what happens if (when) I decide to migrate away. I don’t intend to use these short links in any non-transient context, but it would be good to know that there is a workable export option available on both services so that I am free to leave. But for now I have a new toy to play with. It’d the small things that provide the best entertainment.