WordPress wishlist

This is going to be a running list of ideas about how WordPress might work even better as this kind of class repository.  I’ll try to keep it to things that I think might actually be possible, and shy away from trying to turn WordPress into GLOW.

Boolean searches and saved search pages using categories and tags
It would be great to be able to display results for categories and tag combinations:  “visual research AND set design NOT green”  Would be handy to have an advanced search box that could handle these operators; would be even cooler to be able to save pages of these, so there could be a page that always displays “script AND feedback” and auto-updates itself whenever a new post is made that has those categories.

Omitting categories from the main blog page
I’m using this in such a way that there are some posts that, while useful and important, maybe don’t need to be in the main stream of posts going through the main page — this post, for example, which is really me jotting down things that I want to remember 4 months from now when we debrief, or a few years from now when I teach this class again.  If the main blog page could be told to not include any posts in the category “WordPress in class” then this wouldn’t clutter up the feed of more timely class-related posts, but I could always go read it by going to the category page.

Alternately, this could just be a variant on the above request for saved search pages by setting a different page to be the blog, and have the page include NOT operators for omitted categories.

Formatting by category
Not anything deeply critical here, but I wonder if it is possible to set post formatting rules by category?  For example, I have a category “announcements” and what if any post in that category would display with a red title instead of black, to be just a little more eye-catching?  Or maybe this could be something that goes along with making a post sticky?  I could foresee problems of what to do when something is in multiple categories with conflicting formatting rules…

Creating new categories
Just realized that users with the role of “Author” (i.e. the students) do not have the ability to create new categories.  I suppose this can be good in terms of preventing metastasizing categories because of too many cooks, but overall is a bit of a bummer since it shifts the burden of organizing the posts onto Editors and Admins (i.e. the profs.)  Perhaps is this something that can be changed with a plugin?

I wonder if a plugin exists to insert a poll into a post, and then display results? Ideally it wouldn’t display results to any given user until they had voted, or would let the poll creator decide when to display the results. Again, not critical, but would have uses.

Making galleries from the WordPress app
Well, just that. The iPads are working great in class — people documenting performances and improvs on their iPads (we had a great bit today with making maps of juxtaposed performances) and then immediately uploading to WP for sharing. But it would be great if they could be in galleries.

I also think that there might be a way — it seems some people are doing it, and I think from iPads. I just have to check what exactly they are doing…

Notifications of new posts, comments
So it would be great if we could receive email notifications of new posts and comments, with individual options to turn notifications on or off.

That being said, having functional RSS feeds would take care of this problem, and others as well.  Actually, the more we continue with this, the more I feel that making the entire site private was a mistake, that we should have left it to individuals to mark as private any posts with copyrighted material.  I feel like most of our posts would not really fall into the copyrighted category anyway — I mean, unless the college needs to hold itself to a different standard of copyright than every blog in existence (and I mean major blogs, ones with big corporate money and lawyers, who probably want to obey the law and cover their asses) we can’t be in copyright violation just by linking to publicly available content, can we?  So it would just be a matter of images etc that we upload and host on the blog.

A follow-up question to this would be whether the Private posts would show up on the RSS feed.  I fear not, thereby rendering the RSS solution less useful.  Sigh.  I really have to say, it’s all pretty dull, this.  Maybe the campus-only option would be a solution?

RSS feeds
More just as a reminder, but RSS feeds can be used to populate pages with content — in other words, to have a page that always displays a certain category, like “assignments turned in,” say.  Also would be useful for things like professors being notified when homework is turned in (by just having to check the feed for that category.)

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