On updating the Top Commentators widget & WordPress customized installation

This blog has been quiet, but it doesn’t mean that my life as a geek has been put on hold.

Far from it, as you can guess from the title of this post.

geek in pink First off, I’ve scheduled a release of the latest version of the Top Commentators Widget sometime in November. A couple of bugs were mentioned by users like you, which I hope can be addressed by v.1.4. So, thanks for taking the time to report the errors. Please continue to do so by going to WP.org’s Support Forum if you can find anything else that’s in the widget in need of improvement. Information like these help make TCW useful and usable.

Secondly, I’m cooking up a project that I started three months ago (infact, it was two weeks after I gave birth to my son with designer genes). And it wasn’t until recently that I found out it has a name, thanks to my recent endeavor into Drupal.

My project is called the WordPress Installation Profiles. It might not work the way the Drupal community does it, but the idea is more or less there. This idea has also been discussed before, but as the post mentioned, the closest one out there was done by WordPress QI, and that’s still not quite like what I was hoping.

This idea came about after I saw a couple of Internet marketers out there monetizing a “software” that supposedly improves your WordPress site’s SEO. Upon further investigation, it turned out that it was merely a collection of already well-known (and free!) WordPress plugins, packaged into a single zipped file, and can be installed with a few clicks through a customized install.php file. I realized that, hey, I can do this too!

I was thinking of building one, then selling them off. But then I thought, in the spirit of open-source and WordPress, why not make them free as well? So, yeah, it’ll be available for you to download, FREE!

My first WordPress installation profile will be created around the concept of affiliate marketing blogs, with the following plugin options built into it:

  • autoresponders
  • opt-in subscriptions
  • affiliate products auto-detection
  • ad rotator / manager
  • those SEO plugins for sure

This profile should also include a suitable theme, which I’m still trying to decide which to use. Then once this is done, I’ll be leveraging my Blogging Fu web site (defunct), where it will serve as a repository for all the installation profiles which I will be building later.

I’ll figure out my monetizing strategy later, but one thing’s for sure, those readily-available installation profiles will remain free once they are up there for downloading.

Any comments? Suggestions? Feel free to vent in the comments section below.

Posted on 22 September, 2010 under Discovering WordPress Life in reality Life online and tagged with , , , , , ,

7 responses to “On updating the Top Commentators widget & WordPress customized installation”

  1. Konsti says:

    Hello Lorna,

    that’s great news. I recently wanted to contact you regarding TCW, but when I read your blog I quickly changed my mind. I was having difficulties “customizing” it (nothing special, some basic css). Then I read you just had a baby with the Down syndrome. So I kept reading and read also your other blog… It was very intense, very emotional, very touching…

    It was a good wake up call: “Man, you’re dealing with your stupid silly blog. She’s dealing with LIFE! Leave her alone. She has more important things to do than helping you out with your damned blog.”

    So, after that I turned off my pc and sat down to reflect… Again, your post made me realize how often I go way too far in trivial, totally unimportant things.

    The next day I told the story to my wife and showed her your blog. It made her very emotional too. Especially now, when we’re planning to have our first baby…

    Stop! Wait a minute, I’m getting totally off track here. 🙂

    Back on track now…

    (Thanks, by the way, for enlightening me.)

    Ok, I have a good suggestion for TCW which will help it become BY FAR the best top commentators widget.

    Here it is: add a reward system based on medals, trophy’s or something like that. A very simple and basic concept coming from the “game dynamics theory” and which is already used by all the forum platforms.

    It’s simple, but it seems to be extreeeeemely powerful for enganging, motivating and rewarding people.

    For example, when a commentator has 10 comments, next to his name appears one small picture of a bronze medal. When he has 20 comments a gold medal, 50 comments a golden trophy or something like that.

    As far as I know there’s only one WordPress plugin (Top Contributors) having this option, but it’s very limited. You can attribute stars to commenters who have more than n (configurable in the options panel) amount of comments. So actually, it has only 2 “status levels”: without and with a star. But on my blog, the “star thing” even didn’t work…

    So as you see, I preferred TCW above Top Contributors, because it has much more options (except the “trophy reward system”).

    If you’re interested in this game dynamics idea, here are a few links for some inspiration:

    http://tnw.engagemediainc.com/ (Cool pics of medals, trophy’s and so on as rewards)

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html (Very interesting and inspiring video on the power of game dynamics.)

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/25/scvngr-game-mechanics/ (Best and most complete blog article I’ve found on the subject.)

    Thanks again and I’m looking forward to TCW 1.4.

    • Lorna says:

      Excellent, excellent links for me to refer to. Thank you so much! It’s users like you that makes developing TCW so much fun and worthwhile to develop for free! I’ll make sure to get working on this and hopefully get something like this up in the next update.

      Glad you enjoyed my posts, and please, if you have anything to ask with regards to your blog and anything to do with TCW, let me know. It’s a great way for me to learn improve my skills, too.

      Congrats to you and your loved one on your upcoming bundle of joy, I hope everything goes well. Parenthood brings with it a whole new set of challenges, and you’ll be amazed and feel so lucky to live it! God bless.

  2. Konsti says:

    Wow, fantastic! A million thanks a lot for your understanding and compassionate reply. You make my day! 🙂

    And I forgot one simple thing (but you’ve probably thought about it): checking out the Top Contributors plugin. Here it is: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/top-contributors/

    Have a great day, Lorna!

  3. Tech says:

    Good luck with your new project.

  4. Do you have any solution so I can also put it on my blogspot blog? I already installed in one of my wordpress blogs and hopefully I can get more comments.

  5. Konsti says:

    Hello Lorna,

    any news on the Top Commentators Widget?

    I’m still very interested.

    Wish you the best,

    Konsti

  6. Susan says:

    I wish I could get this to work on one of my non wordpess pages, but haven’t been able to find the right tweak.