Yesterday Keith Dsouza wrote in Weblog Tools Collection about the problem with short url in comments which are used by spammers to try to get their comments approved.
The problem with short urls is that in order to know where the link points you have to click on it with the risk of being sent to a malware site or something else. Or you can use another web service to expand the URL and check the destination but you have to open another browser tab, copy the URL from the comment and paste it into the other tab.
If you have a site with a lot of comments it’s difficult to check every one and that’s why Keith proposed the idea of a plugin to handle this. I thought that it would be easy to create a plugin to do that and after a bit of research I found that LongURL.org has a jQuery plugin that does precisely what I needed for the plugin.
With that jQuery plugin it took me less than 30 minutes to create the first version of the Preview Comments Short URL plugin for wordpress.
After installing the plugin, in the comments administration page you get a link next to each short URL to expand it for preview.
It works with most of the short URL’s I tried, and LongURL is constantly adding support for URL shorteners.