Announcing Table of Contents Plus

Ok, so I’ve been quite slack in completing the Spark plugin which was going to be the be-all-and-end-all of super duper crowdsourcing needs. I’m still planning to complete it <one day>.

That said, I have submitted an application to host my new Table of Contents Plus plugin on the WordPress plugin directory. Once approved, you should be able to install it using the normal process including via the administration backend.

Why Plus? Cause it does more than a table of contents!

In the meantime, you can check out its plugin page which has more information about it, and some screenshots.


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…