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Mid-Week Blues

Posted by | Posted in Entertainment, Geek Stuff, The 9-To-5 Droll | Posted on 30-09-2009

I’m in a bit of a bad mood this morning. Being late for work through no fault of my own is starting to piss me off as much as it probably pisses off the Powers That Be. Is it that hard to find a decent cab company these days? Disorganisation is the name of their game, baby!

It’s just another log on the fire of determination – the determination to get out of the 9-to-5 routine and do something else. I got a voicemail from an Estate Agent yesterday afternoon. Man, you write one email to them and they’re on you like a hawk! Still, it might motivate me to get off my arse and get another mortgage agreement in principle. I already have one as far as I know, although due to changing circumstances at work (for the better, I might add) I probably need to get a renewal.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it or not, but I’ve been working on a little web project recently. Some of you have probably used URL-shortening services like Bit.ly and TinyURL in the past – they allow you to shorten long URLs into something smaller, to save you precious characters when posting links to Twitter or putting links in a forum signature, for example. I decided, despite the influx of them around at the moment, to make my own.

It was inspired by another guy who also decided to make one (to be used by friends of his, more than by the general public) and he asked for some advice on the .net Mag Forum about how he could improve it. There were a few good suggestions, and I had a few ideas of my own, so I decided to make my own just for a laugh.

I’ve not had the chance to use many others, but I saw the potential for some improvements on most of them, and so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve got a lot to do for it still – such as developing a membership creation/login system, stats system, and creating the actual URL-shortening page, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m hoping that it might be useful to some people, particularly those who are looking to keep track of their online marketing campaigns. The stats features should hopefully appeal to those users who’d like to see which of their shortened URLs are the most popular, and where those users are coming from.

It’ll also have the ability to add an expiration date to the shortened link, as well as a password. The shortened links can be made private, meaning that their stats won’t be included in the overall (publicly-visible) stats page, and just for funsies, it’ll have a randomizer – a link that picks a random public link and takes the user to it. Perfect if you’re bored and want to find something interesting and/or mundane!

I’ve also been toying with the idea of updating my company website. If the URL shortener does actually become well-used, it’ll be a great way to promote my company. Which means, of course, the company website itself will need to be finished, which at present, it isn’t.

Another nice point if the URL shortener becomes popular – I could sell it. I’m sure there would be companies out there who’d like to “aquire” the URL-tracking stats features, as well as the vast quantities of data that it could potentially collect, so selling it might be worth my while once I’ve done all I can with it. Hell, it might even give me a leg up when it comes to building my property empire!

In other news, the US TV season has well and truly kicked off. Last week saw the return of Heroes and Dollhouse, and this week (yesterday, in fact) the new season of Lie To Me started. I loved the first season, and this first episode of the second started off just as well as the first ended. I’d highly recommend it anyone, and I think Tim Roth does an awesome job as the lead.

Also, Fox’s Animaton Domination has started again, with new seasons of The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and new this year, The Cleveland Show. I saw the pilot of The Cleveland Show earlier on in the year, and although I wasn’t majorly impressed, it could well take a bit of time to establish the new characters and get the humour of the show sorted. Having said that, the lastest episode of Family Guy was totally awesome!

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