Create intuitive and reliable Amazon URLs on the fly with AtTheBigRiver.com

Dancing Mammoth, the company that owns Unclutterer, is always working on new products and services to help people save time and use the web more effectively. In the past, we’ve introduced Nest Unclutterer and Fix My HTML.

Today we’re introducing a new service, called AtTheBigRiver.com.

AtTheBigRiver.com is a convenient way to link to your favorite content at Amazon.com. It allows you to create intuitive, functional, and humane URLs on the fly, without interrupting the flow of your writing to stop and find the “correct” URL. AtTheBigRiver.com’s intelligent technology always sends your users to a sensible location. Just take the name of the artist, author, book or other product you want to link to at Amazon, change spaces to hyphens, and append “.atthebigriver.com” to it.

Examples

AtTheBigRiver.com works best with popular authors and artists. Suppose you want to link to The Beatles’ “official” page at Amazon.com. Finding the URL of the page is a hassle, and when you do find it, it looks like this:

Instead, you can simply use this URL:

AtTheBigRiver.com knows where the “official” Beatles page is, and will automatically redirect users to it.

The same thing works with popular authors. Compare the “official” Neil Gaiman link on Amazon.com:

To this:

If AtTheBigRiver.com doesn’t have a term in its database, it automatically redirects users to the Amazon search page for that search term. Try links like this:

Constructing URLs

The rules for constructing AtTheBigRiver.com URLs are simple. Simply take the name of the artist, author, book or other item you want to link to, change spaces to hyphens, and append “.atthebigriver.com” to it. Our intelligent redirection technology is very forgiving. Underscores are automatically converted to hyphens, and non-alphanumeric characters are stripped out.

So these URLs are both equivalent and functional:

AtTheBigRiver.com also works with Amazon.com referrer codes. Put your referrer code at the end of the URL and 90 percent of the time when that link is clicked on we’ll pass your affiliate code along to Amazon. The other 10 percent of the time we’ll substitute our code to help cover the costs of providing this service. If you don’t include a referrer code, we’ll use our affiliate code 100 percent of the time.

For example, if your affiliate code is affiliate123, then you add the referrer code like this:

13 Comments for “Create intuitive and reliable Amazon URLs on the fly with AtTheBigRiver.com”

  1. posted by 2 Wheatens Weblog » Blog Archive » Happenings… on

    [...] And just for fun…check it: Reliable Amazon Linkage [...]

  2. posted by squid on

    I am feeling marketed upon, which seems out of character for this site. Icky.

  3. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @squid — If by “marketed upon” you mean that we’re telling you about a free service that our awesome parent corporation created, then yes we are telling you about this cool service.

  4. posted by Sarah Rainsberger on

    That’s a great format for links! But, I didn’t find it as forgiving as you claim. I tried to get to hubby’s book “JUnit Recipes: Practical Methods for Programmer Testing” by “J. B. Rainsberger” and no combination of dashes actually took me directly to the book’s/author’s page, though both times I got a “did you mean to search for…” and his book was the first option. (I even tried JUnit-Recipes-Practical-Methods-Programmer which is the not the full title but the format used in Amazon’s own link and that would again just take me to the search page.)

    So, it looks like it’s pretty good for straightforward cases, but maybe needs some tweaking for more complicated cases. Great service, though. I’ll use it just for typing in directly when I know exactly which book/author I’m looking for.

  5. Avatar of PJDoland

    posted by PJDoland on

    @Sarah – The system learns over time. Try these links now:

    http://jb-rainsberger.atthebigriver.com
    http://junit-recipes.atthebigriver.com

  6. posted by RCcola on

    Ok, I hate it when other people do this… but…

    Why not just use tinyURL or similar?

  7. Avatar of PJDoland

    posted by PJDoland on

    @RCcola- Because you actually have to open tinyURL and input the proper Amazon link. This isn’t designed to shorten URLs. It’s designed to allow you to just make up links that will almost certainly work (provided you follow the right convention for constructing links).

  8. posted by jane on

    In the age of phishing, I think this is a great way to get people to not click on your links. I wouldn’t click on a link for atthebigriver that claimed to go to Amazon…

  9. Avatar of PJDoland

    posted by PJDoland on

    @jane – It passes you right through to Amazon, the same way a URL shortener (i.e. bit.ly, tinyURL, etc.) does, so it’s no more a phishing risk than those sites.

  10. posted by PlantingOaks on

    I agree, I don’t get it.

    For internet security purposes (and avoiding rick rolling) I tend to look at the url a link is taking me to before clicking. If I was expecting to go to a book page, something like this would at least raise suspicions, if not prevent me from clicking. (and yes, I am suspicious of tinyurls and the like as well. I understand their utility in size limited contexts, but I have to be pretty confident in the poster to click them)

    I think this would make more sense for something like you tube, where the title of the content doesn’t appear in the link at all. Yeah, having the hash at the end is a little annoying, but the information is there. Using something like this actually gives the clicker *less* information.

    I’m also a little curious if most people are more bold about hand-typing links than I am. I’m always too afraid of fat-fingering and typing something stupid like ‘.om’ that won’t go anywhere to post links any way other than copy-paste out of an address bar.

  11. posted by LolaGeek » Blog Archive » Linky Thursday - 8/13 on

    [...] Create intuitive and reliable Amazon URLs on the fly with AtTheBigRiver.com: Pretty cool new system – you can link to just about anything on Amazon without having to look up the URL. Just take the name of the thing you’re going to link to, replace spaces with hyphens, and stick it in front of “.atthebigriver.com.” Look, here’s a link to the book I’m reading: rapture-ready.atthebigriver.com. (You can use affiliate codes, too…) [...]

  12. posted by Emily on

    I love it! Many times people ask me where to buy my husband’s books, and I say Amazon, but they have to look him up by name. Now I can jot down http://Joseph-A-West.atthebigriver.com and hand it to them – it takes them straight to one of his book pages.

  13. posted by Todd on

    @ PJ Doland
    > Posted by PJ Doland – 08/10/2009
    >
    > @RCcola- Because you actually have to open tinyURL
    > and input the proper Amazon link.

    Not if you have the TinyURL extension installed in Firefox; simply click Tools, select TinyURL > From this URL and Robert is your mother’s brother

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