By now, you’ve probably heard or seen the mention of the new WordPress exclusive, Yahoo! Shortcuts. Yahoo shortcuts is a WordPress plugin that provides shortcuts to relevant material as you compose your blog post. Simply speaking, the Yahoo Shortcuts is an easy way to tap into the numerous sources of data that make up the Yahoo! network of websites.
There are two ways to display shortcuts to your readers. The first way shows readers certain blue dotted, underlined, terms that show the related content once the mouse cursor is hovered over them. The second way is to present the relevant content as a badge or image embedded into the actual post.
Looking at the way the relevant content is displayed reminds me a lot of how Kontera works. Kontera is a form of in text advertising. As far as I know, Yahoo is not making any money from any of the products that might be displayed on your blog.
One of the negative things about this plugin is it’s size. The plugin folder is comprised of 110 files. I suppose the reason for so many files is so the plugin can support the various shortcuts provided by Yahoo.
In concept, I think the idea works. But it’s my own opinion that these relevant images, text, financial quotes, products, ect do a good job of distracting the reader from your content. I’m one of those individuals that when I see something cool, I click on it. I keep clicking on things until I realize, how off track I’ve become. Then I go back to where I started except now, I’ve lost an hour of time. Don’t you just hate that?
One last thing I wanted to mention about the Yahoo Shortcuts. The shortcuts keep in tact the attribution information for things such as Flickr photos and you will automatically be given credit as the author of the image if it’s used inside of a blog post. If the blog author messes with the shortcut and deletes that attribution, they are actually breaking the Yahoo ShortCuts Terms Of Service and you should report them to Yahoo.
If you would like to see how the plugin works, check out this demo video that Yahoo! created. If you want to download the plugin and give it a try, download it from here.