[wp-hackers] Creating a user-generated collaborative (i.e., crowd-sourced) project using WP

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Thu Mar 12 11:01:51 GMT 2009

Howdy all,
I'm trying to (back-of-the-napkin) work out how best to approach the
following problem using WordPress and I'd love to get some ideas as to the
best way forward.

I want to allow users to hit a simple form and be able to input information
that will then be browsable/serachable by others interested in the
information.  I need a minimum of overhead for the users to be able to
submit information, so just setting up a blog, allowing registrations and
then doing a custom write page isn't really going to cut it. As I've thought
about it, there are two ways to approach it.

1) Use comments as the basis for this effort, since an infrastructure for
submitting information in a drive-by capacity is already in place.

2) Create a form that has the full privileges of an Author role and allow
folks submissions to actually go in as full-fledged posts.

I'm leaning towards #1, an approach which has some decided downsides

a) No comment_meta makes storing additional information (in this case,
geolocation information and a few other values) problematic.

b) No good searching of comments through the native WordPress interface.

As a solution for a), I was thinking of putting a form in place that would
submit data to the comments tables and store the meta in the form of
shortcodes interior to the comment itself.  I would then apply shortcode
translations via an add_filter on the comment text when it came time to
display it.  b) has no good solution I can think of.

So I'm throwing this out there -- has anyone ever either seen something
similar implemented in WP (via plugins or simply radical custom reuse of the
underlying infrastructure) or even implemented something similar themselves?

Or, the alternative answers y'all might provide would be "Doug, you're
crazy, such a thing can't be done, and here's why" or even "What the heck
are you talking about?  Explain better!"


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