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Viewdle makes those horrid in-text links useful with celebrity mugs

Add little video clips to people's names you mention in blogs. Your readers can see a small video clip of whoever you're talking about.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

You know my stance on bad e-cards, and in the same vein comes my dislike for in-text ad links that you find on some blogs. I'm not talking about Snap's little Web site previews with its Snap Shots service, which people either love or hate, but the IntelliTXT stuff--the kind where you accidently moved your mouse near one and it opens up an ad that doesn't go away for several seconds. Ryan Block from Engadget had a good missive on the matter back in August of last year, and I have to agree with the guy that it ruins the reader experience.

With that said, I'm really digging Viewdle's new Name Widget service, which will cross check any names you mention in a blog post and serve up a tiny little video morsel of the person's face when you hold your cursor over his or her name. The video clips in question come from larger pieces of video that have been run through a facial recognition database and cropped down to fit in an area the size of your thumb. Anyone can add to their blog posts or Web site free of charge with a few lines of JavaScript.

The best part is, to actually trigger the video you need to hold your mouse over the link for a good 3 seconds before the video starts playing, so your reading experience won't be too bothered if you make the occasional brush. If you end up actually clicking the name link, Viewdle will kick you over to Reuters, which has a bunch of links to videos where the person appears. Each link jumps you right to that spot. However, Viewdle doesn't require you to link back to its Reuters page, which means you can jump the link wherever you please.

The service works with a variety of popular blogging tools like TypePad, Blogger, and WordPress. However, LiveJournal, Facebook, and MySpace users are out of luck since these sites don't allow JavaScript from outside sites.

You can give it a spin on the names I've added after the break.

Related: Yahoo Shortcuts: It's everywhere you want to blog

Jessica Alba
George Bush
Ron Paul