I’m not sure what to think about the new Yahoo! Shortcuts plugin that WordPress folks are blogging about. It seems to be a joint venture between WordPress and Yahoo! that scans your posts to recommend and create shortcut links to sites, creative commons Flickr photos, maps, news, etc. What are these shortcuts you ask? Well, I am using this post as a test to see what I will be recommended as a shortcut. Thus far it has only identified
one two shortcuts that automatically create queries for Yahoo! Shortcuts and Flickr. I wonder if it will find a link to the Internet Archive or to IMDB or to Netflix? Two out of three ain’t bad! The image for this post is something recommended by the Flickr interface for Creative Common photos which is quite slick.
All in all the plugin feels a bit creepy, kinda like Gmail creeps me out as it recommends ad links based on the content of my emails. So, while I write posts something is reading, processing, and creating links for me on the fly. I guess I can see the use of it pragmatically, but this kind of joint venture that creates unique links to various services online just seems to be the harbinger of bad things to come. It doesn’t really excite me all that much, it just kinda makes me feel that much more vulnerable in the sacred space of the backend of my blog. But, I guess I can always uninstall it, but maybe the image recommended above is telling me something that I just can’t quite make out. Am I missing something? Is there a metaphor there?
Looking at this post from the preview screen, the links are quite distracting when clicked on with the Yahoo! branded pop-up. In fact, the Netflix link has financial information that pops up with info about their stocks and so forth. I don’t know who might find this plugin useful, certainly not the bava faithful 😉 but I for one think the link shortcuts are pretty distracting and the Flickr image doesn’t align with text neatly at all. That said, I like the instant CC user attribution, but is that so hard to do while writing a post? And the recommendation of images may be cool, but it certainly isn’t the creative, pointed Flickr selection that someone like Brian Lamb has made an art of, as Alan Levine pointed out recently in one of the many places I follow him. In fact, given this plugin is a production between two rather prominent players in the online world, it feels pretty uninspired and potentially bordering on flaccid. I’m even wondering why I wasted a post on it. I guess as an excuse to test after the bava blackout!