Software apps and online services
WordPress currently makes up ~27% of the web. These sites range from small, niche blogs to the largest news and entertainment publications in the world! While it's early days for voice as a platform, it's not too early for the diverse and talented works of journalists, writers, artists, entertainers and others to make their content available on Alexa.
I want to see the number of Skills on Alexa grow by orders of magnitude, and for it to be just as easy to have an engaging experience through voice as through a web browser. Content needs to be accessible to everyone, in as many forms as possible.
Today it takes a bit of developer chops in order to make the most basic of Alexa Skills. My goal in this project is to make it easy for the editorial teams, journalists, bloggers and other creative folks to bring content, talent and new experiences to Alexa. I've spent the past days creating a WordPress plugin that integrates with Alexa, allowing content to be created in WordPress and made available through Skills. Out of the box, this plugin supports 3 different skill experiences. First, it enables the creation of Flash Briefing skills. Second, a news/content skill makes site content available for consumption by reading headlines and allowing a user to select which ones they would like to listen to the full content of. Third, it creates a blank slate that can use different skill templates. For this contest, I've flushed out a quotes/facts template that allows the creator to add as many quotes/facts as they'd like, with or without an app card image, and the skill will randomly speak an item to the consumer when invoked. The real power of this third type is the extendability. Over time, more templates will be added to this (the template is chosen via a select box) by me and hopefully others in the open source community. In-house developers can also use this to flush out different skill types to meet the needs of their sites/teams.
To finish turning into a skill, a REST endpoint URL is pasted within the Amazon Developer portal, and the Amazon Skill ID is pasted into WordPress. The plugin even helps in generating the utterances, which can also be pasted into the Amazon Skill setup. Further documentation available on github repository.Screenshots of WP Admin:
- Local debugging
- Unit tests
- Decision tree interface testing
- Writing more encompassing utterances
- Account linking for subscription content
- Full audio streaming support