A short post about link shorteners

As it happens, I came upon a little problem. I needed to shorten an awfully long URL. I remembered using bitly.com in the past but then I realised I had closed my account. I just didn't use it often enough. So my first instinct was to find a self-hosted solution. I looked through a Yunohost app catalog and voila – there are 4 URL shorteners: Lstu, Shlink, Shuri, and Yourls. I thought, well, let's have a look, do a little research. And so I did (a very short research) as I didn't want to spend the whole morning on such a silly task. As I was reviewing the options, none of them really impressed me. Then it struck me: do I really need to run my own URL shortening service just to 'process' one link? Of course I don't! At once I felt lighter and somehow liberated. But the problem persisted. Thankfully, the solution wasn't far away. I listen to many podcasts, quite a few of them technical. Recently, one of them mentioned this new URL shortener called pnqk.me. So I opened the site and learned that the service is much better in terms of privacy than most other link shorteners. It cleans your links and, if possible, archives the contents, which is neat considering that some links might stop working in the future. Without wasting any more time I decided to give it a go. I can now report that pnqk.me works as expected, with a small caveat: it doesn't seem to offer any statistics or insights about your links. Not a problem for me, but if you care about this stuff you'll need to look elsewhere. So, short story... shorter: always look for the simplest solution. Privacy doesn't have to be difficult.

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