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See Where Short URLs Really Go With ExpandMyURL.com

I’ve written previously on this blog about issues with shortened URLs and with the various worm exploits on Twitter that we’ve seen of late it is definitely becoming something of a concern. It’s even an option in the latest release of TweetDeck.

Earlier this week I wrote about LinkNark, a website that allows you to preview shortened URLs to ward off nasty surprises. Another alternative to LinkNark is ExpandMyURL.com, and it works in similar ways. Punch in your shortened URL – it accepts all the leading formats – and hit the ‘expand url’ button, and away you go.

It’s very quick and very simple, and does exactly what it says on the tin. But so far, so LinkNark.

Where ExpandMyURL separates itself from its competitor is a handy little JavaScript bookmarklet that you can drag into your bookmarks toolbar. Once active, any site you visit that uses a shortened URL can easily be vetted by clicking on the bookmarklet. The shortened link will now be ‘made safe’ and re-route through ExpandMyURL.com, revealing the destination. This includes Twitter.com, and is very convenient indeed.

The web site needs a radical makeover. The service is useful and the domain is keyword-rich enough to attract traffic but at the moment the presentation is all very Web 0.2, as opposed to 2.0. One assumes this is a temporary measure and they’re hiring the very best graphic designers as we speak (or really pushing the midnight oil on Photoshop). It deserves more spit and polish.

If you’re at all concerned about clicking on shortened URLs, and you have every reason to be, ExpandMyURL.com, and certainly their one-click bookmarklet, could very well be exactly what you need.

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