Tech Thursday: Shorten those links!
Using custom URLS and QR codes
In the great big world, this might be small potatoes. But great things come from small things, as they say. Every time I get an announcement about a seminar or conference with a link that is neither clickable nor copy-able, and is a long string of letters and numbers, I think: I wish you had offered a short link!
Take a look at the flyers below and specifically at the links provided…
Even if you’ve made the link an active (click-able) one when you created the flyer, if you’re sharing the flyer widely it’s quite likely that by the time someone gets it, they’ll be viewing a more static version without active links.
This works for classes and meetings as well. Think about how many times you’ve sat through someone else reading out a long link, or trying to find the link to post into the chat. Yes, it’s a only minor annoyance most of the time, but the solutions - two options below - are also quite quick and easy.
Create a shortened URL. I like TinyURL because it is extremely simple to use and you can take the extra step of making a custom URL that is even easier to remember and share.
Create a QR code. Another way to quickly and easily share links - which particularly works well for in-person presentations - is to create a QR code for your link (as in the example below).
With this QR code, attendees (or students!) can quickly access your slides, handouts, poll, anything you want to share, directly from their mobile device. It even works if you’re displaying the code on a laptop screen, as in a Zoom meeting, rather than projecting it (go ahead and try to use the QR code in the image above). I use QR Code Generator (below) because it is free and easy, but there are many others.
I’ll take a break from this Tech Thursday note next week, as it’s Thanksgiving in the United States. May your week be filled with gratitude!