Crowdsource tips, ideas, brainstorm, voting… rolled into a plugin

Those familiar with sites like GetSatisfaction, IdeaScale, and UserVoice will be familiar with the empowering qualities they bring to a community.  These are three of the larger known crowdsourcing sites cropping up in quick succession.  They place the audience behind the wheel in the driving seat on a voyage to a more enriching destination.

You can use sites like these to do a bit of market research in determining the current state of play in the field most concearning you.  You could use them to determine the features you should be working on.  You could use it as a simple poll.  Some examples are:

When you break it all down, these sites all have similar components:

  1. Common elements like title, description and some taxonomies (via tagging and/or categories)
  2. Voting
  3. Commenting
  4. Presentation controls like recent, hot, etc

Some allow you to place a status flag (such as accepted, in progress, or completed) on the submission further acknowledging their contribution.

Ok, so enough with the build up.

I’m close to a functional release of “Spark” that will provide all of the above through a WordPress plugin.  This means that it’ll be functional and look OK in most themes.  It’s built using custom post types so you’ll need at least WordPress 3.0 to give this a try.  It’s not ready yet so there is no download link.

Here’s some screenshots:

Front view

Add New tab

Spark Options

Invoke it on any page or post using the [spark] shortcode.  There will be some options later (eg only display items in a certain category).

By the way, Spark is short for Bright Spark…


8 thoughts on “Crowdsource tips, ideas, brainstorm, voting… rolled into a plugin

  1. Randy says:

    I’ve also been looking for something like this — but it’s now March 2012, so not clear if you’ll be able to finish. The WP Idea Stream plugin would be good except that it seems a little cranky depending on one’s theme, and the author is not able to maintain or support it at this time.

    I hope you can get this done. I’d also like to find the same thing as a Drupal module for our office intranet.

    (Is your APS the Am Physical Soc? I met a couple of people from that APS in a Drupal class last December.)

    • Mike T says:

      The development slowed/stalled as I pondered moving it from a plugin to a theme to better control the presentation. Keeping it as a plugin would require CSS tweaks by the user to present it professionally as if it was originally intended by the theme author – rather than a tackled on site feature which sorta looks out of place.

      Nar – over here, APS stands for Australian Public Service.

  2. Klaus says:


    I just stumbled across your site in search of a plugin that does exactly this.

    It’s a bit of a surprise to me that nobody has left any comments, so I’ll be the first to say that I’d be very interested.

    Have you had a chance to continue working on this plugin?

    Kind regards,

Comments are closed.