June 5, 2012
Bitly is a URL shortener. It's purpose...take long URLS and make them short URLs. Bitly is a very easy to use tool that is also a very useful tool in the classroom. I have used it in the past with teachers when they want to share a URL with their class but don't want to make them write down a gigantic address. Another feature that I really like is the ability to bundle several links together so that you can share just one link to a page with several links (great for resources projects for students). Recently, Bitly overhauled their site in a major way (still have the weird blowfish looking thing on the homepage) and even introduced some great new features.
Bitly has now built in a social bookmarking feature that is called Bitmarks. Bitmarks are bookmarks that you save to your Bitly account similar to Diigo or any other social bookmarking site. These saved sites can be shared or kept private to your account. What this means is that you can now share a link to a bunch of bookmarks on a topic, e.g. SMARTboard resources. They have also added the ability to collaborate on bundles with other users. In addition, Bitly has created an app for iOS users that allows you to create and access your Bitmarks on the go.
Bitly is a great way to save all of your links and websites in one place. This makes it much easier when you want to share them with another teacher or a class of students for an upcoming assignment. For someone like me who is already using Diigo this will remain a place for me to share shortened URLs but it's nice to see that Bitly is expanding their product to include bookmarks now as well.