Posted 2 months ago
by rousso

Short URL

Notes

Bit.ly links

Many users are often puzzled by the way RSS Graffiti uses Bit.ly links. So questions keep coming in about this and that, on Bit.ly links in RSS Graffiti. It’s only reasonable because the feature is neither fully, nor properly implemented in RSS Graffiti yet.

So here is what is currently going on with bit.ly links on RSS Graffiti and what is about to change in the upcoming RSS Graffiti version 1.9.0 Beta.

Current problems:

  • Issue #1: RSS Graffiti does not use bit.ly to shorten all links posted on Facebook. That is bad and it is about to change in the upcoming version 1.9.0 Beta. It does not use bit.ly to shorten all URLs because that was not our initial intention. We introduced bit.ly in order to be able to add a short URL on Status Updates. We did that, but then neglected to expand the use of bit.ly to shorten all URLs before posting the on Facebook.
  • Issue #2: RSS Graffiti currently tries to create short URLs through bit.ly even if you did not specify a bit.ly account to use for connecting to bit.ly. It just uses silently its own bit.ly account. At the beginning this was nice because anybody would get a short URL on their Status Updates regardless of whether they had a bit.ly account or not. But now that RSS Graffiti has grown it turns out to be bad because bit.ly will not always respond to our requests for shortening a URL depending on the volume of requests we have been doing with the same account.
  • Issue #3: Nobody complained about this but it is a serious design issue. A Bit.ly account is currently a property of a target (Facebook Fan Page, Profile or Group). This is not as flexible as we would like it to be especially if someone administers a lot of Fan Pages or Groups.

What is changing in the next version:

RSS Graffiti version 1.9.0 Beta is about to be released and it does address all the above issues.

  • Bit.ly accounts will be now associated with the user instead of the target. Each user will be able to specify multiple bit.ly accounts. The user will then be able to assign the same account to multiple targets and multiple feeds. So different feeds in the same target will be able to use different bit.ly accounts. These settings will be cascading from the user to the target and then on to the feed. So if a feed does not specify a bit.ly account for using in shortening URLs, then the one specified on the target will be used. Likewise, if a target does not specify a default bit.ly account then the default account of the user will be used. This system also takes care of Fan Pages with multiple administrators and makes it clear to each admin which account is being used and who configured it. At the same time the same system will be dead simple for people that don’t really need this complexity and only have one bit.ly account and a Facebook Profile. If you add just one account then that account is going to be the default for everything.
  • RSS Graffiti version 1.9.0 Beta will also use your bit.ly account to shorten all URLs it posts to Facebook. This will help you keep track on clicks through bit.ly. Later on we plan to use bit.ly’s API to bring some of those statistics inside RSS Graffiti for making your life even easier.

We will give you more details on all these as soon as we are ready for the release.