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How to create safer email links with your Google Profile and bit.ly

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  adfm's Photo
Posted Mar 02 2010 10:49 AM

Google Profile will display a "Send a message" link if you check the "Allow people to connect to me (without showing my email address)" check box when setting up your profile.

Here's what the check box looks like:

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Here's what the link looks like:

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The nice thing about this link is that it gives you your very own email form that others can use to send you a message. What's nice about this is the sender must also have a Gmail account to use the form.

Here's what the form looks like:

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That's a very useful feature you get just for signing up for a Gmail account. Let's make it more useful, shall we? Right-click on the link in your browser and Copy link address.

Next, since this link is rather conspicuous to spam bots, and we'd like something easier to remember and trackable, we'll create a bit.ly link for it.

If you haven't already, go create a bit.ly account. Don't worry, we'll wait.

OK, then. Once you've logged in to your bit.ly account paste that long URL into the spot where it says "Enter your long link or file here:". Next, create a custom name for your link that's easy to remember and you'll be good to go.

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Now you have an easy to remember, trackable email link you can use freely on web pages and email (that is, until the nasty spam bots figure out a way to circumvent bit.ly and Google)

Lazyweb note: I'd like to see Google doing this automatically using its goo.gl shortener and Google Analytics. That would make my Google Profile much more interesting to me.

("Send a message" link via Shane Crockett & Tim O'Reilly)

3 Replies

 : Mar 02 2010 11:54 AM
When I copied and pasted the URL from my own contact page into another web browser, I was presented with the google login screen, so it appears that the person using that contact button needs to be logged into google for the tip to work.

{edit}derrr I should have read more closely! :){/edit}

This post has been edited by msilver: 02 March 2010 - 01:21 PM

 : Mar 02 2010 12:05 PM
Yes, you have to have a Gmail account to use the form. It is stated. It would be nice if this concept could be extended to a service that used OpenID and obfuscated on the back end. That would keep the spammers busy for a while ;^)
 : Mar 03 2010 11:23 AM
That's a great idea Adam, thanks for the tip!

Shane Crockett