Yahoo worked on this Plugin with the help of WordPress, and being a lifelong WordPress user (SEJ first started on Blogger, then switched to b2; which became WordPress) I thought it my duty to not only report on the Plugin itself (with the help of SEJ’s Search News Anchor Julie Kent), but also test and use what I feel is one of the most efficient and useful WordPress Plugins – especially for a third party branded plugin and its Flickr images tool.
Another note is that although the Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin is branded by Yahoo and serves content from Yahoo properties like Flickr, the plugin does not serve Yahoo advertisements and is not against the Google AdSense Terms of Service, for those bloggers who run Google AdSense.
If your WordPress.org powered blog is hosted on your own server or domain, you’ll have to download and install the plugin. The plugin is not yet available for blogs hosted on WordPress.com.
After installing the WordPress Plugin, activating it and then opening a new entry to write a post, the Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin box appears on the right side of my WordPress admin area, but without any matching Shortcuts since this entry is empty.
Then, the initial draft of this post is typed, and Yahoo then automatically identifies 14 different Shortcuts which can be entered into the post.
I then select the option to add these Shortcuts and preview them. Since this is a post for reviewing the new Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin, I now will ‘Convert all links to badges’. (The blogger can however pick and choose which Shortcuts they want to include or delete. A lot of the shortcuts are to Yahoo Search results and not all to embedded maps or graphs, so if the blogger does not want all of these links to Yahoo Search results, they should look into whether or not they want to include them.
In this case, the Flickr part of the Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin did not serve any related images, but if I do a search in the Flickr search box on the bottom of the preview page, images are then served and I’m given the option to add them to my blog. Let’s try this by doing a search for ‘ayers rock’ :
Multiple images are served which I can now sift through then add to the blog post in one click. I can also select the different sizes of the photos. By using this plugin, the blogger can be 100% positive that all photos are attributed to their source under Creative Commons licensing.
You’ll see that the Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin is a real time savor and value added addition to blogging, especially the maps for local oriented blogs and the Flickr photos for almost any blogger. Below is our original announcement on the new plugin, using tools from the Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin itself (just mouse over the words with dotted lines). Enjoy!
Yahoo Shortcuts Plugin for WordPress
The official Yahoo Search Blog announced today the availability of a new plug-in for WordPress blogs called Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress, which automatically finds and offers supporting content to help bolster your blog posts in real-time. With the Shortcuts plug-in, Yahoo expects that bloggers will experience less of a burden in finding additional content to integrate into posts, and will therefore have more time to spend worrying about the actual writing. It adds a depth to your posts that you may not have had time to worry about before.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed the Shortcuts plug-in, as you begin to type, it will start to find terms in your post, such as company names, tickers, locations, news, and product names, and with no work on your part, and will integrate a roll-over or preview badge into the post. For example, if we were to integrate here at SEJ, it might show a dynamic finance chart for Google‘s stock performance (Ticker symbol: GOOG), a map for the term “San Francisco“, and so on. Less appealing, at least to me, is the ability of the plug-in to link to various products, based on keywords within a post. If I were to link to products, I’d want to make sure I did it with an affiliate link, otherwise, isn’t it just giving away free advertising for the retailer?
Another cool feature for Flickr addicts, is the plug-in’s capability of recommending Flickr images based on key themes in your blog post. This is being made possible through Creative Commons licensing, and would include proper attribution to the picture’s original author.
At this time, “shortcuts” available with in the plug-in include: Flickr Photos, maps, financial information, products, autos, news, and web search. The plug-in’s official website also promises ” More shortcuts coming soon!”
The best part about this plug-in is the level of control it offers bloggers. You can accept or reject any and all shortcut suggestions that it comes up with. If you have an issue with linking to products, then you can reject the products. If you want to include a suggested financial chart, but not a suggested map, you can do that too. Furthermore, you can also decide how you want the shortcut to be displayed, selecting either a simple link or badge.
As an added incentive to get bloggers to adopt this new plug-in, the first 500 bloggers to get it set up on their blog will snag a cool “Pimp My Blog” t-shirt.
So, how does it work? Simply download the Yahoo! Shortcuts plug-in and as your typing it will begin to find terms in your post such as company names and tickers, locations, news and product names — and, with no additional effort, integrates a roll-over or preview badge into your post. For example,
“Crater Lake” brings up a map of Crater Lake to answer the “where the heck is that” question and ” Citigroup” calls up a dynamic finance chart of the company’s stock performance. The product Shortcut (e.g. Nintendo Wii) displays the latest product reviews and price comparisons from retailers across the web via Yahoo! Shopping .
And, because a picture is worth a thousand words we didn’t stop there. While these days it is popular to release new features every half hour or so, we decided to hold the product and dive deeper to offer images, as well. Now, under Creative Commons licensing, we’ll recommend Flickr images based on the key themes of your post, with proper attribution to the original author of the picture included.