Just in time for New Years Eve, we have a couple of year end plugin releases for folks. These are two brand new plugins. Both have been requested many times by users – one is probably been our most requested plugin. the two new plugins are: 1) Featured Topics and Post 2) Share This
Featured Topics and Posts
The Featured Topics and Posts plugin allows you or any other SP Admin on your site to designate a list of topics or posts as featured or highlight topics and posts. There is a template tag for featured topics and one for featured posts so you can actually feature a list of topics and a list of posts. The template tags will display the featured topics and posts in a manner similar to the Recent Forum Post template tag. The template tag can be used in page content, sidebars, footers or other widget locations.
As an SP Admin, you can add topics and posts to the featured lists in the admin (list of topic/post ids) or via the front end Forum Tools (designate the specific topic or post you are viewing).
The Share This plugin has probably been our most requested type of plugin. It allows you to do social sharing of forum, topics and posts with Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or other social networks. The plugin adds where you want a list of icons for social sharing of the forums, topics and posts. It allows users of your forum to share these items on their social network accounts. Our Codex has long detailed ways to add these sharing icons to you forum, but it was a mostly manual process. This plugin takes the manual work out of it and automates it for you.
For this social network sharing plugin, we have chose to build it off of the Share This service. This is a free service for users and we do recommend that you sign up and get a free publisher ID so you can see data and stats on your social sharing. In developing this plugin, we researched multiple services (like Share This, Add This, and others) as well as creating our own API. It seemed non productive and time consuming to reinvent the wheel and do our own API. In the evaluation, we found Share This to offer the most options and ease of use.
The Share This plugin features an extensive SP admin panel set of options for customizing how you want the plugin to display and interact on your forum. You can pick the icons you want to show and the appearance (buttons, icons, banner, etc). Our admin panel fully automates the insertion of the most common social network icons. The plugin API also allows for easy customization if you want to add a different social network icon not directly supported in the admin panels.
The plugin features 4 different template functions. One for displaying within the forum topic loop (ie per post basis), one for within the forum loop (ie per topic basis), one for within the group loop (ie per forum basis) and a general sharing template tag. The latter can be used on any wp page or post (but not within the forum loop) to allow sharing of non-forum data.
The Share This plugin is a start. Over the coming year, we hope to add more features to it.
We hope these two new plugins help you ring in the new year. Happy New Years and Best Wishes for 2013 from the Simple Press Team!