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 (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?

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Ron Stauffer

Ron Stauffer is a husband, father, believer, web guy, marketing guy, musician, and man of many secret talents. He lives in the Boulder, CO area with his wife and five children, and is frequently told he's too young to have as many kids as he does.