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This tip should be helpful to almost anyone who wants to send a url to a friend. TinyURL is the oldest of these sites I know of, launched in 2002, but I have recently come across another set of sites that do the same. According to Wikipedia, there are at least 100 of these sites. I found these sites as a result of getting familiar with my new FrugalNYC Twitter account and continued development of my blogs Frugal NYC and Frugal Tech. These services work via an online database that keeps track of existing URLs. My vote goes to TinyURL, since its been around the longest. Should the service go down, all the URLs shortened with these services will go down with the ship.
As with any URL, for security reasons, its probably best to not click on anything from an untrusted source. One problem I have with these systems is that, its easy to hide malicious sites with these. Hopefully these service providers monitor and help keep those to a minimum. Without further ado, here are the list of 8 providers for URL shrinking.
Mashable. A worthy mention is Cligs - a site that provides a short URL service with built-in analytics. What URL service do you use? Why did you choose one over another?