MacWorld’s Shortened URLs

It’s no secret—I like URL shorteners. A lot. And as long as my mind’s still stuck on the subject of technologies that were ahead of their time…

I was leafing through my MacWorld magazine at the kitchen table the other day, and saw (as I’ve seen a thousand times before) their unique way of providing the reader with more information on a topic or article.

If you’re reading about a new Mac Gem, for example, and they’ve only got a small box to tell you about the product, they’ll often say:

“to learn more about Mac Shortcake, visit macworld.com/1234 (or similar)”

Thinking back, I seem to recall that MacWorld’s been doing this for a very long time… for years before I owned a mac—and definitely before URL shorteners were en vogue. When I was younger, I used to pick up a MacWorld from time to time at the bookstore and read through it, wondering if it would ever be worth it for me to switch to a Mac. I wasn’t fully convinced until a few years ago, but I always did think that the “numbered” URL was a pretty brilliant idea.

Does anyone know if it was Macworld, or someone else that started this? And what would you even call it? Numbered URL? Vanity URL?