K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford

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Anyone Know How To Make WordPress Plugins?

Anyone Know How To Make WordPress Plugins?

In response to yesterday’s discussion at Fantasy on why people don’t comment on fiction as much (which is still ongoing and has followup questions from me, so please keep participating!), some people brought up the idea of having some sort of voting system on a story — like a thumbs up they could press if they enjoyed the read.  Alaya Johnson and Mary Kowal also had this idea when we were hanging out at KGB last week.  I think it’s a great idea.

I’ve been looking for a plugin of that nature and have yet to find one.  There are a few that allow visitors to vote, usually assigning a number of stars, but none that do just Thumbs Up or Down, and none that hide the result from the visitors.  I’d like to be able to say to authors “You got 30 thumbs up!” but not allow them to see that the story from a week ago got 60 or something.  That would drive me insane as an author.

Anyway, are there any plugin writers out there?  Do you know any?  Seems like a simple thing to create, but not being a programmer myself I don’t know for sure.  I think this might even work better as a stand-alone thing not necessarily tied to WordPress.  Other online magazines might like to incorporate something of this nature, too.


  1. Neil Clarke Neil Clarke on 26.11.2008 at 11:21 [link] (Reply)

    Email me. I’ve been working on one for Clarkesworld

  2. tchernabyelo tchernabyelo on 26.11.2008 at 12:23 [link] (Reply)

    I’ve had a few stories published at Every Day Fiction, one of the sites that uses a rating system, and to be honest I don’t mind seeing other stories getting more votes or comments or higher rankings or whatever than mine. Surely as an author you have to get used to the fact that some people may like one story more than another, that some story an editor likes doesn’t actually resonate with the readership as well as another, and so on and so forth.

    Mind you, I am something of a stats nerd so the more information I can see about such things, the more I can pretend to draw conclusions from it…

  3. Mary Robinette Kowal Mary Robinette Kowal on 26.11.2008 at 12:34 [link] (Reply)

    I’m confused. What good does it do to show the author that people gave their stories a thumb up? I mean, from a marketing point of view it’s only useful if it drives traffic to the site, which means showing it to the readers, I would think.

    1. tempest tempest on 26.11.2008 at 12:45 [link] (Reply)

      As an author, I would find it happy-making.

  4. Stephanie Leary Stephanie Leary on 26.11.2008 at 12:56 [link] (Reply)

    I need this for another site I’m working on, and I’ve written a few plugins before. Email me if Neil Clarke’s doesn’t work out!

  5. Adam Israel Adam Israel on 26.11.2008 at 13:01 [link] (Reply)

    I would second wanting to see ratings publicly. Taking it a step further, being able to see a list of stories sorted by rank would be interesting, even if only published periodically as a best of as voted by the readers.

  6. Stephanie Leary Stephanie Leary on 26.11.2008 at 13:12 [link] (Reply)

    I think WP-Ratings is supposed to be able to do the yes/no sort of voting, but I can’t figure out how to configure it that way. It will happily do a 5-star scale, complete with widgets for showing the highest rated posts.

    1. Stephanie Leary Stephanie Leary on 26.11.2008 at 13:16 [link] (Reply)

      Oh, score!

    2. Adam Israel Adam Israel on 26.11.2008 at 13:33 [link] (Reply)

      That would be cool. Personally, I’d rather see a 5-star scale than a yes/no.

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I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.