Ugh URLs

Once upon a time, before the world wide web was woven, to find a file on the internet, you had to know in which directory it was to be found, and you had to log into the computer to be able to access it. This made life hard and complex, and the internet was a thing that geeks did. But that was twenty years ago (or there abouts), and then Tim Berners Lee posted and all sorts of things happened, leading inevitably to this blog.

(Some of that paragraph contains poetic license.)

The exact URL – or “uniform resource locator” – no longer matters in the way it once did: you no longer need to worry about how to create a link when writing forum posts. Applications like Twitter automatically sort out the href syntax to a url you’ve cut and pasted from somewhere else.

Which is not to say URL’s are completely irrelevant.

A recent tweet I saw contained the following address:

http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/news/misdirect.page.

I nearly didn’t bother following the link: any URL ending in misdirect.page must surely lead to an error page, telling you of a broken link.

Except in this case, the link was not duff: the title of the article was “HS2 case is a misdirected priority, County leader tells protesters”, and it was well worth a read.  Especially as I’d been at the event mentioned in the article.

I suppose the point of this post is that if you have any kind of control over the URLs when writing a post, it’s worth just running the link through a mental filter to see whether it gives the wrong message.  But maybe I’m the only person who notices such things.

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