It will not be a surprise to some that I have bought yet another domain name, but this new one is a little bit special.

When tweeting we’re all accustomed to the shortening of URLs, most commonly using bit.ly, but in this day and age, personalisation is all the rage and can have important implications.

Lets say for example that someone posts a link to the BBC on twitter via bit.ly. Their service helpfully translates their URL so that it appears as bbc.in followed by the short code. That way everyone knows, that when they click on the link, they will end up at a site owned and operated by the BBC.

As well as inspiring confidence to click the link, origin is also transferred through re-tweets. What do I mean by that? Well, say I post an article and tweet about it using a bit.ly link. It is only once a user has clicked the link that they necessarily know it’s my article. Before that in the mind of the user, the article could in fact have originated from any twitter user who happens to have included the link in their tweet. Thus by having my own short code domain, my linked-to content can always be traced back to me, however a reader may have stumbled upon the link.

All well and good you might say, but does this really justify the expense? Well perhaps not, at least on it’s own. You see when you own and control a short code domain you can do clever things with it. For example, if I post a video on my site and link to it with a short code, the user must first traverse from short URL, to site, then in turn to video. What I can do if I own the short domain however is to make the short URL the actual permanent link for the content and save the user some hoop jumping. While I haven’t got a strategy for implementing this kind of thing yet, it’s certainly nice to have the option of doing so in the future.

The question you’re all asking then, why the .sh extension? Well, seeing as the .uk extension is not available for registration as a TLD I needed a suffix that both identified myself with the United Kingdom but also which was something related to me or my field of work; .sh does both of those things.

The domain suffix belongs to the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory and as an added bonus the .sh file extension is well known in the Linux and Unix world to denote a shell script which is quite possibly the most versatile way of accomplishing both manual and scheduled tasks on the platform. As an avid supporter of open source and long time Linux user, this fitted the bill perfectly.

So finally then, when you see a kjo.sh link, view it with trust – it will ALWAYS link you to a site under my control and you have my personal assurance that content served up from such sites will be safe. The root of the domain with no short code attached will form a permanent link to this article thereby explaining to the uninitiated who the short domain belongs to and proffering an explanation as to how and why it came into being.


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