URL Shortener - March For Our Lives

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

This problem is not unique to March For Our Lives. The digital team wants links that can be put on graphics, the data team wants usable metrics for link clicks and follow throughs, the local organizers want link creation to be accessible, and the finance team wants the tool to be cheap/free.

I've been organizing with March For Our Lives since its inception in February of 2018. I've seen the organization through change after change in regards to its structure, staff, politic, and basically anything else you can think of. So in 2020, when I saw the need for a URL Shortener tool that was cheap and accessible, I was more than happy to get to work to figure it out. The tool itself is pretty simple, as I am not super well-versed in any coding language outside of HTML and CSS.

The basic construction of the tool is as follows: A form submission is routed to Rebrandly (a custom short link creator) using a Zapier integration. Once the shortlink has been created, another Zapier integration emails the shortlink to the email used in the TypeForm submission. This was created using the free plan of all tools included, with the exception of the domain purchase. Then, with a little bit of web development and HTML, I added all the March For Our Lives branding and colors to the webpage and the emails to make it look cohesive with brand March For Our Lives has worked so hard to cultivate. Below are some screengrabs of the tool and email one might receive upon creating a short link using the tool I made.

Using some quick Zapier integrations and little bit of creativity, I was able to make a trivial part of digital organizing a relatively accessible and cost-effective process, allowing organizers to focus on the important work of mobilizations. If you have any questions or want more specifics on how to set this tool up, feel free to get in touch with me (personal email pls).

In solidarity,

Nico Gleason

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