WPTavern: Blog Helper: An Alexa Skill for Managing a WordPress Blog with Your Voice
photo credit: MjZ Photography IMG_8538-Edit.jpg – (license)
“Alexa, tell Blog Helper to create a new post called ‘Granny’s banana bread recipe.’” Imagine logging a new draft on your WordPress site using only your voice while working in the kitchen. That’s what Blog Helper, an Alexa skill, enables for WordPress.com and self-hosted Jetpack users. It is available for free in Amazon’s catalog of Alexa skills.
Automattic developer Christopher Finke created the Alexa integration for WordPress after purchasing an Echo and some Dots for his house and experimenting with different ways for making them useful. He programmed Blog Helper to allow users to check WordPress.com notifications, moderate pending comments, and save blog post ideas as drafts.
Blog Helper relies on WordPress.com’s OAuth support, which Finke said self-hosted sites can get via Jetpack. After asking Alexa to enable Blog Helper, you will need to link your WordPress.com account and select the blog you want to access. Once you’re hooked up, you can say, “Alexa, ask Blog Helper for my notifications.” Alexa will read off new notifications one-by-one and mark them as read.
Blog Helper also enables comment moderation with your voice, so you can take care of that while folding the laundry or doing dishes. If you ask, “Do I have any comments to moderate?”, Alexa will read them to you and you can approve, delete, or mark them as spam. Check out the quick demo video Finke created to hear it in action:
Scientific studies have proven that some of your best ideas come to you when your mind is relaxed and your body is distracted by routine tasks. If you have an Alexa-enabled device, Blog Helper is a fun way to help you capture your creative ideas in WordPress before they get away. It allows you to create new drafts without having to pick up your phone or sit down to your desktop.
Although Finke works for Automattic, he wrote Blog Helper in his free time and it doesn’t have any official affiliation with WordPress.com. His said his roadmap is to try and make as much of the core WordPress experience accessible by voice as possible. Blog Helper can be a big time-saver for those who want to manage their blogs without being tied down to a screen, but the voice interface can also be useful for those who have vision impairments. Blog Helper is GPL-licensed and available on GitHub if you want to contribute or follow for updates.