Dec 15 2010
Every once in a while the need comes up to send someone a series of links. Anything more than 2-3 links begins to look like a blue hyperlink editorial nightmare. People try various ways to pretty up these blocks of underlined text. Sometimes they’ll take the time to use URL shorteners, or they’ll hyperlink text describing the link location instead of the link itself. This is tedious, time consuming, and really not that much of an improvement anyway.
Now there’s a new way to share links with others, called MultiURL. MultiURL allows you to enter multiple links and then it coalesces them to a single page. At its core it’s a very simple service. It comes with a variety of features that help cater the links to your specific needs.
The basic level of usage includes adding multiple URLs and giving each of them titles. The titles will be displayed when on the MultiURL link page. The next options are to give your links a group name, alias, and password. The group name is displayed on the link page. By default the link page will be assigned a shortened URL. Users can use an alias to customize this to fit the context of their links. If a password is set then users will need it to access the page. Finally a customizable linkback URL can be set. This will appear on the MultiURL link and point back wherever the user chooses.
When creating links MultiURL actually creates multiple URLs. It’s a bit of a double entendre on the site name. First, the service takes multiple URLs and combines them into one URL. But then it offers multiple URLs to view them. The first is within a framed display with a toolbar. Here users can navigate through pages, each of which loads a new URL. Next is a page that contains a list of links called the browse list. This is the simplest display. The last is a random link. This link will randomly redirect to one of the original links. It could come in handy in a number of situations, like if you link to a series of images and want to display a different one each time a page loads.
To better illustrate this I created my very own Cat Tutorial. Here I demonstrate how to properly care for a box of cats. The first shows the framed view with the toolbar. Note the drop down to select various pages and the ability to step through as well. (For my tutorial it’s recommended to view the links in sequence.) At the top right you’ll see the customized link back URL, which happily points to this page. The linkback URL can be set for individual links or as a global setting for all of them. Here’s an example of the same tutorial’s browse list. Finally, here’s the random link which brings up one of the happy cat pages. (Or not so happy, as the case may be!)
MulitURL doesn’t stop there. In fact they went the whole distance. They created both an API for external site integration, and a WordPress plugin to further the multi-link fun. The API allows you to create MultiURLs remotely, from your website. The WordPress plugin takes all the links from a single post and creates a MultiURL from them. This could come in handy for of us who tend to create link-topias when writing articles.
MultiURL does what a website should do. One thing, and one thing well. They make single links from multiple links. It saves users time, gives their emails a professional feel, and gives them the ability to convey information in a better way. Their toolbar page goes the extra step and helps them tell the story. Whatever the purpose, MultiURL provides the best tool for people to simplify their link building.