Yahoo! Shortcuts Team and Crowd Favorite released a WordPress plugin called Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress. What is it? According to its definition:
Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress plugin intelligently enriches your blog post with great content from Yahoo! Maps, Finance, and beyond.
Even it's still in beta release, after I tried this plugin, I found that this is a very useful plugin. Especially I want to enrich my post with more useful information without spending too much time to find references. If you go to Yahoo! Shortcuts page, you will see some demos on how the plugin will work in your post. Look at the sidebar. In short this plugin will do these things:
- Detect your post to find relevant information automagically — I think it's by keywords — that can be found using Yahoo! services. For example: maps/location, products, company information, people profile, photos, etc.
- This plugin will generate some shortcut alternatives. Later, you will have options to deal with those shortcuts. In you entry editing screen, you will see a box containing information about how many shortcuts found in your entry.
- If you decide to create shortcuts to Yahoo! services, just click on the “Review this Post” button. By doing this action, you will be brought to another editing screen.
Okey, let's say you decide to link suggested shortcuts, after clicking the “Review this Post” button, you will have a new editing screen. You have to remember that this is not a real WordPress entry editing screen. It means that you can not edit text, adding links, etc. You're only able to work with the shortcuts. The suggested shortcuts — in phrase/keywords — will have an underline borders, and there is a small icon on the right side. You will have more additional menus by clicking onto it.
The shortcut menus will not always be the same. For example, if it's a product, then it will display the product information. If it's a location, it will link to a map — from Yahoo! Map. There is another section where we can insert pictures from Flickr. When there are some matching keywords found, the Flickr section will give you thumbnails. But, if not you can always use the search function to find more photos for your entry directly.
Links and Convert Links to Badges
If you want to use those shortcuts without further editing, just leave them as is. Click the Save button. That's all. But, if you want to have more than that, you can convert your links into badges — depending on relevancy. For example, you write about Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It's a city in Java Island (Indonesia). We can directly insert the map of Yogyakarta by converting the link into a badge. If you're not satisfied with the placement, you can edit later in your WordPress editing area. No worry.
This method can also be used for other mechanism like providing product info, company financial information, etc. The process is the same. If you want to remove the badge into link, just click the icon on the badge and choose “Convert to link”. Easy!
Inserting Photos from Flickr
Among those great features, I like the Flickr integration feature very much. If you want to find images, just use the search function. The search results will be displayed as small thumbnail. Just put your mouse pointer on the images and you will have an inline pop-up window.
There, you will see a bigger photo thumbnail including the photo license. To insert the photo, click the “Add to post” button. Related to Flickr terms of service, photo will be displayed together with its author, and will be linked to the original photo location. This will keep you safe from copyright and service terms issue.
To make it even better, you can choose the photo size. There are four types of thumbnails available. If you are familiar with Flickr's “Blog This” feature, it's similar to it. The difference is that you do not need to visit Flickr page and login to it.
Overall, this plugin is very useful especially for bloggers who write about topics that need more references — and they choose Yahoo! to provide them. Even it's still in beta version, but I found no problem — at least until I write this entry — at all. For now, this plugin is available for WordPress. I hope this plugin will be available for other blogging platform — if possible. This plugin can be downloaded for free. I have tested it using WordPress 2.3.1.