I’ve been using WordPress as my blogging software for three years now. It started when I began podcasting and I just followed what others were doing. But I’m glad I went down this path as the platform has developed into a very powerful CMS for both blogging and maintaining simple websites. One of the great things about WordPress is the extention of features using plug-ins. Most of these plug-ins are written by individual developers so when someone like Yahoo! writes one you know that this software is poised to go to the next level.
Yahoo! Shortcuts is a WordPress plug-in that automates creating links and embedding photos within posts on your blog. The built-in visual editor in WordPress makes this super easy to begin with so I didn’t think at first that this was that good of an idea. But in using it to draft this post, I think it has some potential to improve my workflow so it will remain activated. It has an interesting user interface that is uber-minimal. Once you copy the plug-in to your WordPress installation and activate the only thing you notice is a box on the upper right of your “Write” window in the administration interface. As you write your post, it polls Yahoo! for links to embed; for some unknown reason, it only detected one so far on this post (to WordPress). When you choose the “Review this Post” option (presumably when you are done writing) it slowly takes you to a screen to approve the link(s) and find and embed pictures from Flickr (ah, it found a second link!).
It works as advertised, abet a bit on the slow side, so I’m giving it a tepid and provisional thumbs up at the moment. I’ll post more as I use it here and on my wine blog over the next few weeks.