Some time ago I made a URL shortener site specially aimed at use with barcodes.
The site is http://4.gg/
Today I just changed it to use QR codes rather than DataMatrix codes (IEC 18004 rather than IEC 16022), which meant the codes are now using 16 rather than 13 characters of unique data in them. I prefer IEC16022, but I have to recognise that IEC18004 (QR) codes are more popular.
The idea is the URL it makes is short, but no shorter than needed to fit in a sensible small barcode. Hence in data matrix it is a different size to QR codes.
Using a URL shortener site like this allows for a smaller and easier to read barcode.
We use it internally for all sorts of things, including on ID cards, and invoices, and so on.
The site holds very little data - it has the code to URL mapping, a hit count, and the IP from which the URL/code was created.
I don't think I have advertised it much, well, at all even!
So I had a look today, whilst changing to QR code basis.
To my surprise it has been used to create URL/codes from over 59,000 different IPs. A lot are ours, a few IPs cover hundreds of thousands of URL, and we have over 1.4 million URLs in total, but still, I am quite surprised.
Thousands are youtube links, lots are links to other short URLs.
So I looked at the usage (hits) and the top one has over 500,000 hits and is a 404 not found? After that are the ones on the main 4.gg web site (e.g. BBC) and then a few specific web sites with different URLs, most of which now fail.
Even so, over 3 million hits, not bad for something I never published!