I have a couple of logs in the fire for startups and expansions of my current endeavors. They are all web-based or mostly web-based enterprises, but I find myself thinking with a few of them that a referral system (i.e. get a free X if they sign up) would be a good idea. So, naturally, users will have to share links with non-users.
In comes a link shortner. Take Audible as an example. They have
audible.com, but when you share a link it looks more like
a.co/jEi53S5. I find this more appealing than the full link, especially if users are going to text or tweet it. I know there are services, such as
bit.ly, however, I personally find them unreliable and am wary to click such a link because I know it could literally go anywhere. On the other hand,
a.co I know will always go to an
audible.com page (or Amazon, because Amazon owns Audible).
In comes the endeavor to acquire or register a custom link shortner domain name.
s.tk is very short and anything similar is way outside of my price range. But they are not intuitive at all. You cannot tell just by see them that either is likely to go to
stackexchange.com, respectively. Yet, I trust them implicitly to not lead me somewhere strange or NSFW.
So what should I look for in a link shortner domain name at this point? Should I try to play on the brand and primary domain as much as possible? When does it become not worth it, and I should just use the full primary domain?
For example, Stack Exchange has
stackexchange.com as the primary domain. It's kind of long, so a link shortner would be great. Where is the line of usefulness in this list (assume they all exist and are available; rearrange if necessary)?:
stackexchan.ge(are obscure country TLD's a good idea?)
stack.exchange(are gTLD's a good idea at all?)