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IsNSFW.com - The Safe For Work way to share Not Safe For Work links (isnsfw.com)
84 points by grexican on May 4, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments

Usability: Make the URL textbox bigger and autofocus it on load. Give the OGNX labels a bit of rounding to make them look like buttons. Give them some highlighting when selected. This will keep people who don't know better from getting annoyed with those little circle toggles. Submit goes on the bottom-right. s/custom alias/alias, add a hover or question mark to it that explains what it's for. Add some overlay js/ajax to give me the new link without having to go to a new page.

Design: Align your header's (logo, speech bubble) width with the google-advertisement-banner-footer width to make the middle stand out. What's up with affiliates? Put that junk into the box right under the banner. Your copy/link/share link colors are ugly. 2 lines of text max in your description.

Copy: Comma or exclamation after 'Congratulations', period after 'others'. Some of your wording is unprofessional. Don't try to be funny. Some bosses won't look kindly on a site like this just because of your language. For example, your http://isnsfw.com/44dfs6 'porn star' might get hit by someone's work filters and get your site blacklisted.

Good plan. Go find some decent sfw url shortener sites, see if you can set up mutual linking with them ("Have something sfw to share? Try [random friend]"). And do you realize that your source of revenue is under the fold on 900px height netbook screens? Many college students use those.

(When submitting, put your comments into the the actual post, not into a comment. Title should also be 'ask hn, feedback on nsfw-friendly link shortener isnsfw.com')

Looking for thoughts, feedback, rants, raves. The site is essentially a safe way to share not safe content. With URL shorteners becoming popular it's hard to know if what you're clicking on is safe to visit (especially at work).

isNSFW.com aims to fix that.

Cheers -eli

err.. the "I'm at work" button should not redirect you to Disney.com. try Google instead. Otherwise, great idea.

[added link: http://isnsfw.com/yLyQTM]

really? people seemed to LOVE the disney.com redirect. They found it quite amusing :) It originally went to google though, like you suggested. We'll see how things test out and it might very well make it back to google.

Thanks for the feedback -eli

You should redirect them to amazon using your affiliate link and hope.

The redirect to Disney is definitely clever and funny. But I have to agree with cedsav, the joke will go from cute to annoying pretty fast, google is better.

Yaw, Disney is safer for work, but still isn't what you want on your screen when your boss/coworker walks by.

I see how it can be funny, but the Disney homepage has some music playing, which kinda gives away that you're not doing anything work-related.

perhaps redirect to a google search for disney. That way, there is a slight joke, but we still get our google fix.

Define "people". How many, how diverse? Are these 'people' in your target audience? Can you extrapolate the opinion of those 'people' to hundreds of thousands of other people?

It would make more sense if the button was labeled, "I can't; I'm under 18!" I can't imagine many working people would be thrilled at the latest Pinnochio news.

disney.com made me laugh :)

Why not just return the visitor to the previous page (if it exists)? If it doesn't exist, Google seems to be the best bet.

I have a better idea (from a usability standpoint): Remove the "I'm at work" button entirely. It serves no purpose (other than being cute the first time it's clicked) so it will never be used. If I'm at work, I'll just close the page or go back.

I like your idea.

Perhaps you should make the rating optional? If you want people to use this, you should make the number of steps required to a minimum

This is a great idea. I really hope that this becomes ubiquitous with posting NSFW links.

It would be nice if you could affix multiple content descriptors, much like how the ESRB handles their rating system. See below for a reference:


I like the idea, only problem is keeping it clean and simple... maybe version 2.0 will have this :)

How about a bookmarklet to drag into my bookmarks bar? I know it doesn't seem like much, but constantly copying and pasting URLs into shortening services is an inconvenience (and is seriously low-hanging fruit).

bookmarklet was added today.

Just something little: Since you've got such a nice URL, you might make the NSFW-ness a little more obvious by generating links with NSFW capitalized (ie. http://isNSFW.com/XsYK8G rather than http://isnsfw.com/XsYK8G). isnsfw isn't as immediately parsable. Otherwise, very well done!

a couple wording suggestions:

"Offensive Material: Link contains offensive content such as references to religion, abortion, 911, and the devil."

"Link MAY contain", and 911 should be 9/11 (unless you're referring to the US emergency number)

I like the idea of a url shortener indicating the content. My real pet peeve is tinyurls to PDF files though. isPDF.com appears to be available, any takers? :)

Suggestion: being able to select more than one rating. A link may have gore and nudity, it would be helpful if you can easily specify both.

Great idea ELI... I like the 'rating' system... clever.

Oh wow, a URL shortener with a clear purpose and benefit. Nice work. :)

Actually, I'd written a simple service for the same purpose two years ago, I think some people use it right now:


But this new service seems to have more features, good for them :)

Though not a particular fan of URL shortening services, I do have to say I like that you have put an original and useful spin on the concept.

is it just me or is the 'i'm at work' functionality redundant? if you didn't wan't to see NSFW content, you woudln't have clicked on the 'isnsfw' link. What if you built in the category into the link, like http://isnsfw/xxx/KJ89F

"Offensive Material: Link may contian offensive content such as references to religion, abortion, 9-11, or the devil."

First of all, there is a spelling mistake. Secondly, how is religion, 9-11 or the devil offensive? You may think it's an ironic joke, but most people won't get the joke, and frankly, it's not that funny. So if I were you, I'd not try to joke on that page, but give examples that genuinely describe what could be offensive.

All the same, it's a really great service, and I think it will be big.

Maybe controversial instead of offensive.

I don't think this is a joke. Essentially, he means "content such as offensive references to religion, abortion, 9-11, or the devil." The topics themselves are not offensive, but it's easy to talk about them offensively.

How are link shorteners monetized? I'm just curious because it seems everyone wants to start a niche URL shortener.

I think they're just cheap enough to run that niche shorteners can easily be done without a monetization strategy.

I used to just replace the protocol with nsfw:// so that clicking the link would go nowhere, and that recipients would have to replace nsfw:// with http://. I was thanked on many occasions for this convention.

This is a nice automated rendition of that.

This is solving the wrong problem. What I really want is a service that tells me if a particular link is NSFW. How about a Firefox plugin which links back to a database of NSFW links on a server somewhere. Then, whenever I click on a NSFW link on Reddit, a little box can pop up saying "warning, don't view this at work" and I have the choice to wait till I go home to visit it.

Seriously, it's a great idea and I would totally implement it if I had the time/motivation.

So...can I browse links that others submit? By category?

No... we're debating this feature at this point. It's NSFW material, so should we be listing all the NSFW content out there or should it be more private for you to share your NSFW content?

I'm torn on this one, what do you guys think.

You could make it an option to set a link as 'private' so it doesn't enter the global listing.

Surely paid adult content sites pay affiliate commissions? Why not forward through to some if the person wants to see something NSFW? It might even be a monetization strategy that actually works.

When someone clicks through your filter question, ask the question in small print, "Want to see more NSFW stuff?"

yes. content is king.

Any possible way to provide a description of the link as well, automatically? Perhaps display the page's meta name/desc and page title?

Is this a proper use? http://isnsfw.com/liars

While it's proper use, if you read our ToS things as outrageous as foxnews are not allowed to be promoted with isnsfw... sorry. ;)

Are you going to submit yourself to the adult filters to be blocked? Seems like it is standard to do that and then mention that at the bottom of the page

How about adding the rating to the link? http://g.isnsfw.com/blah. Then you won't need a preview.

I think Nudity and XXX should be the same button. You can use that space, to add another button for stuff like Youtube and flash game sites.

Cuz what we all need is another way to waste companies' time and resources by browsing porn. It's our right after all, and how dare those prudes frown on our proud and righteous lifestyle. No one's getting hurt are they? After all, beautiful people need some way to make money too, am I right or am I right?

simplicity is nice. I look forward to the 'aggregation' of the links shared. Top 10 "O" ratings..will be cool.

Great stuff, good idea.

wish i woulda thought of that

Hi Eli, suggestion for the "I'm at work" button. Make it redirect to something fun and informative. Like say, a random twitter trend or somesuch!

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