What is GO?
GO is an aliasing and redirection application. An alias is an assumed name, or a false name, that conceals a true name. In this way, GO shortcuts provide an assumed name for a URL. This "false" name is normally something short and easy to remember in place of the "real" name that may be long and difficult to remember. Hence they are often called "GO shortcuts". Additionally, when the web server encounters "go/XX" in the address bar (where XX is a go shortcut) it checks the GO database for a corresponding "real" name and redirects the user there.
GO can also be called a "permalink" application. Even if content is moved to a new URL, for instance "http://www.middlebury.edu/documentation/" is moved to "http://wiki.middlebury.edu/documentation/", if the GO shortcut "go/documentation" is updated, any links using go/documentation will point to the new location. There is no need to change the link go/documentation as long as it's destination is updated, therefore it can be considered a permanent link.
GO has become quite central to the web infrastructure of the college since its launch. It eased the launch of the new site by allowing links in content to be easily updated en-mass. GO has also become central to our search strategy as GO shortcuts are now provided as suggestions and automatic-redirects when you enter search terms on the main site.
Why use GO?
GO is great for making short, easy to remember, links to college resources to be used in print media or simply for convenience.
Additionally you'll want to use a GO shortcut rather than a direct link for any resources you are linking to that could change location. As long as the shortcut admin updates the shortcut when content location changes you won't need to update any of your links.
If you'd like to visit a go shortcut directly, simply type it into your address bar in your web browser. For instance type "go/liswiki" and hit "enter" to get to the LIS wiki page.
Chances are you will use a go link without even realizing it by clicking on a normal anchor (link) in a web page. You can use a go shortcut as a URL in a link on a web page for any page internal to middlebury.edu. Example: <a href="go/liswiki">LIS Wiki</a>. Be sure to use GO shortcuts to information on the Middlebury site when available.
If you'd like to see a list of shortcuts that are currently available in GO simply type "go" into the address bar, or "go.middlebury.edu". This will bring you to the GOtionary where go links are listed alphabetically.
Creating GO Links
If you can't find the shortcut you're looking for you can create your own. It's easy! If you have a Middlebury web account, just visit the self-service shortcut creation interface and log in. Choose the "create" tab and go to town.
Shortcut - The name of the new GO shortcut.
URL - The destination.
Institution radio buttons - The GO application works on middlebury.edu and miis.edu. You can create your shortcut for either site. Click the appropriate radio button.
Description - An explanation of why the shortcut was made and where it goes.
Aliases - You can add additional aliases to the shortcut. Perhaps go/documentation is more descriptive but go/doc is easier to type. If go/doc is not being used for something else you could make it an alias of go/documentation. Now go/documentation or go/doc will take you to the target URL. It's like two shortcuts for the price of one!
Don't forget to hit the "Add Alias" button before submitting the form. You can add multiple aliases when creating your GO shortcut so you must "add" each one before submitting.
Admins - As the creator of a GO shortcut you are also it's admin! This means you can change the shortcut, add or remove aliases and admins from the shortcut, and delete the shortcut. It also means you should take some responsibility for keeping the shortcut up to date. Perhaps you are part of a group and you'd like anyone in the group to be able to update the shortcut in case the URL changes. Simply add their user name here. Again you can add multiple admins when creating your GO shortcut so you must "add" each one before submitting.
In addition to normal admins who are the creators of shortcuts, or have been added as admins to the shortcuts, we've created a "superadmin" role. This is an administrative role that is only given to a few individuals who administer the GO application.
- Ability to delete or edit any GO shortcut. They are an "admin" for all GO codes.
- Ability to view an history of any shortcut. This history includes information such as when the shortcut was made and who made it, as well as any edits or flags it’s received.
- Ability to view shortcuts that have been flagged by the community as inappropriate for some reason and administer those flags.
Areas where this makes a difference
Create – When you create a code you’ll have the ability to make a hidden shortcut. You can also hide a current shortcut. Super admins are the only users able to hide shortcuts. Hidden shortcuts will still be available via the site search. We are discouraging the use of “hidden” shortcuts, but it’s still an option for legitimate purposes.
View/Update – When you go to “View/Update” in addition to the regular list of your codes there is also a link that says “As a superadmin you have the option to view a list of all codes <http://go.middlebury.edu/all_codes.php> .” This will show you the same style list but with all codes. There is also a history button for each code in both of these lists that normal users do not see.
Flags – You’ll have access to another tab in the self-service shortcut creation interface called “Flags”. Here you can see a table of shortcuts that have been flagged by the community. You can get info and history on the shortcut as well as visit it by clicking on it. If you’ve taken any actions that you need to on the shortcut (such as deleting the shortcut if it doesn’t belong on our site, or edited the URL or description) and want to clear the flags from the shortcut (so it no longer appears in the list) choose “Clear Flag(s)”.
Info – From each shortcut’s info page, in addition to the normal options you’ll also be able to view history or edit the shortcut right from there. This is just another way to access these options in addition to the “view a list of all codes” area.
Note: There is currently no confirmation before deletion so just be aware that deleting a shortcut will get rid of it immediately and permanently.