I resolved to occasionally put out ideas for new products and services a while back. My transition the Movable Type has brought a whole new series of opportunities to implement some of the ideas I have had for Wizbang.
One idea that is a topic of current relevance is the possible use of a “Best Of” plug-in for MT. For radio talk show listeners the concept of “Best Of” should be familiar. When a talk show host is on vacation the station plays “Best Of” tapes compiled from previous shows. I propose a MT plug-in to accomplish the same task on MT blogs while the author is taking a break.
How I envision the plug-in working is to use the Categories feature of MT to get various articles from a selected category. The reason for using categories is to be able to include (and by extension exclude) a relevant subset of articles for inclusion in the “Best Of” class. Take my News category, there’s almost nothing in that category that would work as a “Best Of” entry because they are all time sensitive posts; they were relevant to the news of the day when they were first posted, but now they are stale. My Stories category is an example of a set of posts that are basically timeless. Many of these stories were lightly read at the time of their posting, and recycling them is actually a good use for them.
As a blogger puts more and more material into the archives, these items are basically forgotten. Rerunning them temporarily in the first post on the main page (without altering the actual position in the archives) is the goal of this plug-in. Sort of like the One Year Ago Today plug-in on steroids.
Here is my basic outline of a spec…
MTBestOfIsBestOf – True/False (1 or 0) switch to allow the “Best Of” that turn the feature on or off. Using this system allows you to leave the full set of tags in your template during normal blogging. They just won’t do anything until you set the flag to ON.
Tags under MTBestOfIsBestOf
MTBestOfCatagory– The MT category from which to get best of material.
MTBestOfDuration– The length of time (in hours) that a post should stay in the “Best Of”. After X number of hours the next entry in the category would cycle into the “Best Of” slot.
MTBestOfItems– The number of “Best Of” items to display
MTBestOfCriteria – The selection criteria to be applied to the “Best Of” category for picking eligible posts.
Now when a blogger needs to take time off they can keep the front page fresh. Just like radio, if you’ve already read the story you can simply keep surfing. It’s sort of like the lame NBC promo’s from a few years ago for their Thursday night repeats: “If You Haven’t Seen It, It’s New To You”
Anyone want to develop this? I guarantee that I would use it