The great thing about blogging is that you have the opportunity to express your opinion or provide useful information, but this can also solicit a huge response from the online community too. They are helping you generate even more content for your blog in the form of comments and the like.
Continuing along this similar line of thought is the Rating Plugin. In short, it allows you to create an unlimited number of micro-posts inside blog posts. These micro-posts are then voted on by readers and automatically ranked based on popularity. They can also post micro-comments within each micro post.
Letting Their Voice Be Heard
Many different applications are possible with Rating Plugin. Say, for instance, that you want people to voice their opinions on the best digital cameras. They can do that. You can easily monetize these micro posts, then, with appropriate affiliate links.
To test out the Rating Plugin, I asked people who they think is the best new Super Street Fighter IV character. They can give any of the ten characters a thumbs up or a thumbs down, sharing them across social networks and posting micro comments up to 50 characters in length.
An Imperfect WordPress Plugin
Rating Plugin does contain a few coding errors, however. The call code for the thumbs up/down icons is incorrect.
It points to:
The same issue arises with the social media buttons to the right. The quick fix is to move the internal “images” and “icon” folders to your main plugin directory, but the code itself needs to be fixed in future iterations.
It is also too bad that Rating Plugin doesn’t allow for much in terms of customization. You cannot adjust the width of the inserted tables nor can you eliminate the need for an image associated with each micro post. Without a picture, you get a broken image.
Installation, Setup, and Implementation
After unzipping and uploading Rating Plugin to your WordPress blog via FTP, you will need to activate it as usual. After that, you can go to the main plugin interface on the settings page.
Before writing the blog post that will contain the micro-posts, you need to write the micro posts. You give the group an internal name, set the options, and enter the info for each micro post. It defaults to three micro posts, but you can add and remove more at will.
When you get to the main area to write a blog post, you’ll notice that a new box has appeared underneath the main content area. Here, you choose the “voting option” that you defined in the previous step and enable its insertion.
The series of micro posts are then embedded below the main content automatically. I would have liked the ability to hide the micro posts from the main index page, only having them appear within the single post itself, but this option is not available.
Rating the Rating Plugin
I think the concept behind this premium WordPress plugin is a good one. It gives your audience a new way to interact with your blog and it is much more robust than typical “poll” plugins. However, Rating Plugin is flawed.
You can’t adjust its width, the call codes for the icons are incorrect, and there aren’t enough options for customization. The concept of a micro post is interesting and versatile, however, since it can add a new dimension to your blog.
Rating Plugin is available for download with three different licenses. Choose from the $34.95 single site license, $84.95 multi-site license, or $184.95 developer license.