PressThis used to be a plugin, but now it’s native to WordPress. It’s sort of like WordPress’s answer to Pinterest, since it lets you curate text, video, or other content from another website without looking like a thief. Or even feeling like a thief.
WordPress has clarified this point by explaining that the goal of PressThis is not to copy full articles into your blog and pretend they’re yours. It’s to share a quote, an image (not a copyright-protected image without permission), or a video quickly and conveniently. As you can see in the screen shots below, PressThis automatically provides a source link for anything you press. Assuming that you don’t remove the source link or pretend that this is your own original content, you’re not in danger of copyright violations.
So you’re looking at an easy tool that lets you curate content. You can find the tool easily in the left-hand navigation of the Admin area of your WordPress website:
Put the bookmarklet into the bookmarks bar on your computer, and you’re set.
Now, as you roam the web and see cool things, you can just highlight the text you want to share, push “PressThis” and you’ll see a page that contains the things you were excited about, already set up as a block quote and sourced:
If you don’t highlight anything, perhaps because you were getting carried away by the similarity to Pinterest, you’ll get just the title and source:
This tool is a nice way to grab a quote for a post you’re writing. You can choose the format you have in mind, identify it with the correct categories and tags, and save or publish it without even navigating to your website. Just like Pinterest.
For me, this is of limited usefulness because I rarely use just one quote in a post. I write multiple-source posts for the most part, so I could use Press This for the first one and then I’d have to go back to my usual methods of quoting other authors. However, I can imagine that I might read something and think how perfect it would be in a blog post, Press it and save it, and there I’d have the perfect quote ready when I got around to writing the post. Since it’s already sourced and in block quotes, I wouldn’t have to worry about tracking down the source or being sure it was a quote.
I can see the value of having a quote correctly set up and sourced in a matter of seconds. I think that using it for pictures and videos is probably a bad idea. It won’t grab all videos, but the ones it gets from YouTube are sourced as coming from “YouTube,” which is not the correct way to cite a video. As for pictures, I was easily able to steal stock photos (no, I didn’t use them), so there is clearly no copyright safety switch. Asking permission to use a photo and then snagging it with PressThis would be fine, but it doesn’t end up in your media library. If the site you borrowed it from removes it, it’s gone.
Julianne, who has a DIY WordPress site for her wedding planning business, was much more enthusiastic than I was.
“Once I put Press This in my bookmarks , it became as easy as hitting two buttons to make interesting articles magically appear at my Pretty Old Stuff blog!” she said. “I select Press This from my bookmark tool bar, and voila! My blog instantly opens and the post I ‘pressed’ appears as well! Nice title, graphic and everything. I could hit ‘publish’ and I’m done.”
She appreciates the convenience, but also likes to be able to add on. “Instead of choosing ‘publish,’ I can choose ‘preview,’ which pulls up the toolbar at my blog, and I can click ‘edit post.’ My blog screen opens and I can piggyback my thoughts onto theirs, using their post as inspiration,” Julianne says. “My blog gains value from another piece of interesting information. The author of the post I ‘pressed’ benefits from any resulting traffic to their site, and may even link back to me. A win/win proposition, and an easy tool to use!”
Rosie sees it as a quick way to share a blogger’s review of your product, a meme, or content from one of your websites to another– a recipe, for example, from your brand site for professional chefs to your brand site for consumers. The speed of the tool is certainly impressive, and even if you just use it as a quick occasional alternative to copy/paste it’s certainly worth the price. (It’s free.)
It’s also unusual for any plugin to be brought into the built-in stuff in WordPress, which means that a lot of people must think it’s awesome. If you have a WordPress site and you’re responsible for the content, check it out. Just remember, PressThis doesn’t plagiarize: people plagiarize. If you are called out for copyright violations, you won’t be able to argue that it was the fault of PressThis.