The Apture service allows web site publishers to easily find and incorporate multimedia content from the web into their site. Apture requires one line of javascript code to work. The service embeds dynamic links in the page that allow users to preview content from the outside sites in AJAX layers over the page content. Publishers can choose to automatically generate links from certain sites, e.g. YouTube and Wikipedia. They can also create links by selecting text on the page and finding the content they want to embed.

In the example at left, I show the simplest use case, where you want to link a term to its entry in Wikipedia. What I like most about this is how easy it is to add more information to your pages without having to do editing of the original content. I could see this kind of functionality being very useful for altering original content if these kinds of widgets were available within the rich text editors themselves. It’s very nicely implemented, and if set to only fire on click (rather than on hover), this is nowhere near as intrusive to me as ad-supported services like Snap.

Content editors who don’t want to know anything about HTML need simple interactions like this to make their work quicker and easier. I imagine that this kind of interaction could be scoped within a specific body of content as well, e.g. to easily create links within a wiki. CMS vendors take notice.

1. Invoke the Apture editor by pressing a keyboard shortcut or bookmarklet.
2. Select the text you would like to link and find the media you want to link to.
3. Preview the media, in this case a Wikipedia entry. Then click "Link this item" button.
4. Now when users click the link in your page, they will get an AJAX layer with the entry content.