When you need to shorten an URL, a service like TinyURL works great.
But when you need to provide multiple URLs in a small space — like I did for a library when there was room for only one link — there are free tools that make it easy to bundle those URLs into just one link. (Good to keep in mind for a post on your library's Facebook page, or for a 140-character tweet.)
Here's my favorite URL-bundling tool, with step-by-step instructions to create your own bundle:
Bit.ly creates a page that holds all the links, along with any descriptions or notes you choose.
To see what a Bitly Bundle looks like, here's http://bitly.com/bundles/winnefox/1 the one I made for Oshkosh Public Library when I needed to convert multiple links from their [old & archived] Local Employment page in order to condense the links to fit on the Winnefox Employment Help Center.
Here's how to create your own bundle:
- Create a free username account at Bitly, using your email address or social media account.
- Click "Bundles" on the blue toolbar:
- Click "Create a new bundle"
- Give it a title and optional description, and click "Make a bundle":
- Start adding links to your bundle by clicking "Add a bitmark to this bundle":
- Paste in the a link, edit it to suit your needs, and add a note if you'd like:
- After you've successfully added your first link to the bundle, click the X in the upper right-hand corner to close the window:
- To keep going, click "Add another bitmark":
- As you add more URLs, they'll get appended to the bottom of the list. If you want to change the order in which they appear, click "Reorder bitmarks":
and then drag them around to put them in the order you prefer:
- Now that your Bitly Bundle is ready to be shared, click the "Share" button to send a link to an email address or share of Facebook or Twitter. You can also simply hover your mouse point over the "Share" button to see the link.
You can always go back and edit any information, and add more URLs to the bundle.
Bonus: you get click-tracking statistics! On your Bitly home page, click "Stats" on the blue toolbar to get realtime information to see how many click the links in your bundle are getting:
For other link-bundling services, try Fur.ly (FAQ), or read 3 Ways To Share Multiple Links On One Page at MakeUseOf.