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:
- US Government’s Broadband and Open Gov
- Dell, Apple, and Adobe community support GetSatisfaction
- Sales tip sites like OzBargain and hotukdeals
- Stack Exchange
- We used it for a number of duties with the Government 2.0 Taskforce
When you break it all down, these sites all have similar components:
- Common elements like title, description and some taxonomies (via tagging and/or categories)
- 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:
Add New tab
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…