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Apr. 3, 2012 11:15 am

Announcing Ph.ly: Philadelphia’s URL shortener and a weekly email showcasing Philly’s best journalism

Technically Philly parent company Technically Media is excited to announce Ph.ly, a new URL shortener dedicated specifically to Philadelphia links and stories. In one month of existence in soft launch mode, more than 250 links have been shared and clicked 20,000 times. Ph.ly URL Shortener Bookmarklet Drag the bookmarklet below to your browser toolbar to […]

Technically Philly parent company Technically Media is excited to announce Ph.ly, a new URL shortener dedicated specifically to Philadelphia links and stories.

In one month of existence in soft launch mode, more than 250 links have been shared and clicked 20,000 times.

Ph.ly URL Shortener Bookmarklet

Drag the bookmarklet below to your browser toolbar to instantly shorten and share links using Ph.ly.

Ph.ly Instant Shorten

Alongside the URL Shortener, we’ve also announced the Ph.ly News Weekly, a weekly newsletter of Philly’s most important journalism. By signing up using the form at Ph.ly, you’ll receive a weekly email highlighting the three best stories in Philadelphia journalism from every source, curated by the team at Technically Media. It will always remain a free service.

In soft launch, more than 100 locals have already signed up. We’re hoping to grow the list to a few thousand users by April 30 before we start sending out the weekly email. Call it an email Kickstarter campaign.

The Ph.ly service features all the bells and whistles you’ll find with other URL shorteners: you can create custom vanity URLS (like ph.ly/keypulp) and you can check click statistics (like http://ph.ly/st9lp+). You can even add a custom this bookmarklet to your browser toolbar to instantly shorten URLs using the service, seen in the sidebar above.

In the age of microblogging, vanity URL shorteners have emerged as a way to share shortened hyperlinks on social media platforms that limit character use. Companies like The New York Times (nyti.ms), TechCrunch (tcrn.ch) and HootSuite (ow.ly), and more, have adopted their own services.

Future plans for Ph.ly include curating top weekly links shared on the service and offering Philly-wide statistics and reports.

We’ll give credit where credit is due: hyperlocal real estate development blog Brownstoner, which emerged in Philly in late 2010 and just as quickly left the market because of financial concerns here, first launched a URL shortener at the domain. We acquired the domain from the company earlier this year and built the service using the open source YOURLS platform.

We hope Ph.ly can help you show your Philly pride. Check it out today and sign-up for the new Ph.ly News Weekly.

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Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is a cofounder of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Kirk was Web Editor of PlanPhilly, an independent online news resource covering planning and development issues in Philadelphia, and a freelance writer and designer. He resides in South Philadelphia.

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