As in2thefray recently suggested, I think it’s time to try to use the WP Political Blogger Alliance more interactively. One idea would be a situation where I would occasionally post something that’s been in the news, send a pingback to the group, and gather opinions and input here. I think it would be interesting and informative, since I’ve gathered a pretty diverse list.
The first thing I need to do is to make sure that I can use pingbacks to “alert” all of you to a new post. Hopefully, it’s as simple as including everyones link:
Assuming that works, (and I’ll probably look at making that more condensed visually), then all I have to do is get an idea as to a) who checks their sites regularly, and b) who thinks this is a good idea and who doesn’t, so please respond and give your input on this one way or another.
Also, there is no rule that says that I’m the one who has to initiate this. Any one of you are certainly welcome to use the list to call us out if you have something to post as well. It was kinda the idea all along with this; to form a bit of an informal network. So, what I might want to do is post a code that contains a condensed version of everyone’s urls so it can be posted at the end of a thread and not take up so much space, (in fact, urls with a series of periods or something would be almost invisible, save perhaps the button icon or something as an identifier), but first thing’s first.
What do ya think?
I just got a response from Psycheout that this might not have worked like I had hoped. I suppose I should have known better, as WP will alert us to pingbacks to specific posts on the main dashboard page (almost instantly), but not when it’s simply the blog url. Darn. That might call for plan B: ping targets. In other words, instead of the urls above, I would have to use the url to a specific post (or page) for each member of the alliance for it to show up in your dashboards. So….
Best option: Everyone who wants to be a part of this would have to make a specific post (a page would probably be better) specifically for being pinged, and give me the url. It wouldn’t even have to contain much (if any) text, just make sure that your “allow pings” box is checked for that page. It would work pretty slick, actually, as it would contain a neat chronological record of all the threads that have been featured. The title of the page could be anything, really, but perhaps for consistency we’d title it “WP Political Blogger Alliance” <—like so
Second-best option: I just find some old post to use. This would be less-than desirable, obviously, because I would be a pinging a post/page that is completely off-topic, but it would still work in terms of showing up as a “pingback” in the dashboard. Initially, this is what I might have to do just alert you to this thread, but from then on we could use the first method once everyone has their pages ready.
Update: OK, since we already have a handful of pingback pages made, I’m going to go ahead and propose and idea on how the code will look at the bottom of a post:
As you can see, one link for every letter would provide for a lot of bloggers to be included in this (33 total, if I counted correctly). Also, if you want, you could make it really small:
Or, I could use something even smaller and more cryptic, like a bunch of periods (…..) and add them as we go, but I’d like to think that it’s better to advertise a little. I’d welcome input on this. Either way, I could use this thread to update the code as we add more participants. In fact, it might be a good idea to bookmark this page, so all you have to do is copy the current code and paste it at the bottom of your post (in “visual” mode; probably easiest). Boom! Everyone gets alerted by a pingback to their ping page and it will show up in your dashboard (as well as your “recent comments” in your sidebar, I imagine).
The added bonus here is that curious visitors might be compelled to click on some of those links, which would result in gaining attention to the alliance and possibly more recruits that we might not have found otherwise. But remember, our club is exclusively for wordpress.com users!
Update: We have 11 ping pages so far. Not too shabby for 24hrs. I think we can get all the letters in the code filled (again, we can always add more). Another thing I might do tomorrow is post a sample thread using the code we have, just to give everyone a better idea of what I have in mind.