I haven't put up a technology-oriented post in awhile, but, then again, I haven't been doing much web design this summer. This week I've started working on my course website for the fall, and thought I might share a cool, free web2.0 tool that really helps with standards compliance: tinyURL.
Next semester I am requiring my students to read one book on the social / economic / cultural / political / legal impact of technology. I created a list of possible books (and am looking for more--please leave suggestions in the comments) for my syllabus, creating a link to the amazon page for each suggestion. Since students will end up writing a review of the book for amazon, this seems like a good place to have them start. The problem: Amazon uses hideously long URLs full of the kind of code that drives the w3c (x)HTML standards validator crazy. As in 150 errors crazy. Solution: tinyURL. TinyURL creates a redirect that it stores on its servers--users will never know that they've clicked on this redirect. Amazon looses the page rank benefits of the link, but, hey, that's what they get for not providing standards- compliant URLs in the first place.