I am an irssi user - I have issues with mice (I don't use one) and so the text-based IRC client works wonderfully well for me. It also looks less like a chat client and more like I might be working on a terminal screen, which was more useful before I worked from home. In most of the channels I frequent, there is a bot (Phergie to be precise) which turns URLs into a Tinyurl link and also posts the page title.
Opera has a neat little trick (I hear firefox also now has something similar) where you can right-click in any search box, and save the search as a shortcut which you can then use in the address bar. By default this includes google so you can type: g cowsay to do the equivalent of typing "cowsay" into the search box on google.com. I usually add a few more searches to it - and one of them is for tinyurl, using the search string http://tinyurl.com/%s.
So when I see a URL in a chat session, I can just wait for the tinyurl, then type t followed by the 6 or so digits on the end of the tinyurl to get to where I'm going - very handy!