I’m Doing it Wrong: The Daily ____

It’s been one of my long term dream plans to make a generalizable WordPress theme approach to the ds106 Daily Create so people (me included) could create news site to run daily challenges.

One of the things I wanted to do differently was to make the way people contribute is via twitter, going back to the way the old Daily Shoot used to work. My plan was to work in the twitter API, so that it would look into the mentions timeline of the account you wanted to us (so you only get replies or tweets to a specific account). I also wanted it to use a specific hashtag, so the site would know which Daily _____ it responded too. And last, I wanted an item to have a link to the response in the tweet.

Well… I actually got it all working in the demo site and set it up for a version to run for the You Show.

And I got most of the technical shenanigans into a long winded technology teeming post. One thing I was worried about (maybe not likely a problem) was a way to progressively load new responses– it would be too much overhead to list them all since I am using an embed function on each tweet.

I thus experimented with the Ajax Load More plugin, and got that sort of working, where it could append the next 10 set of responses (its tricky since these are stored as custom post types) (but I got it)

The grey button loads more data (it can also be set to load by scrolling)
The grey button loads more data (it can also be set to load by scrolling)

I think I got the event timer to work, but also added an admin feature to force an update.


The Problems

I think its a lot to ask people to get the three needed items in a tweet (@trushow15, #YSdailyXX tag, and a URL).

And worse, I keep coming across ones I see in twitter that look like they have all three and are not showing up.

While I could dig and pick at the latter problem, the first problem is more of a problem.

And thus I realized I think I am doing it wrong.

A Reset

So I went back to the way I set up the Writing responses to the DS106 Daily Create (example). I think it will be easier if people respond just by filling out a form on each entry. Like:


What a minute- that submission form looks familiar.

It’s just like a comment form.

So if I use the comment form (which I can do some tweaking to change the labels), it takes care of the displaying of the responses. I might be able to ad some code to auto embed any IMG URLs.

Now the site gets easy. I will still have the back end magic that creates unique tags, and schedules the post from the admin interface (I’m pretty proud of this):

Custom Meta Box
Custom Meta Box

This panel appears in the post editor, and when the entry is saved as draft, it does a bunch of things to each post (1) adds the next available tag (which might not be necessary, but is useful for naming the post urls); (2) Sets the post to be scheduled 24 hours after the last one in the queue; (3) adds some meta data to each most

Plus now I can use maybe a more elegant looking theme.

I think I can re-rig this in a few days, ultimately it should be a lot simpler for other sites to use. Heck it might be now something that can work as a child for any theme? I will leave the original code on github because knowing how to get stuff from the twitter API as a useful thing to figure out.

 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Wikimedia Commons image by  Victorgrigas
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Wikimedia Commons image by Victorgrigas

I’m doing it wrong more often than not. It just helps to know.

UPDATE Jan 25, 2015 Change that channel, I think I figured it out.

Top / Featured Image cc licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by Scot Rumery: http://flickr.com/photos/srumery/4243905723

About cogdog

I bark about and play with technology and web stuff. Harmless. I have my shots.

13 thoughts on “I’m Doing it Wrong: The Daily ____

  1. Thanks for sharing again Alan. Rather than have my students submit a form or push an assignment into my hub I am just having them use specific tags for each assignment. We’ll see how it works, perhaps by making it simpler I will end up making it more complicated.
    I’m constantly tweaking just one week into my course; I think what I really want to make happen so is to highlight the great posts to make them stand out.

  2. Something we’re about to introduce in Known is content templates: the ability to add your own custom content type. For example, a Daily Create could be two text fields followed by a rich text field, perhaps with an optional audio field below it.

    1. I did (mostly) (sortof). It seems to be missing tweets, and is certainly debuggable.

      But the thing is, my concept is flawed since I am asking for three things:

      • Tweet to a specific account (so I can use its mentions)
      • Tweet with a specific hashtag (so I can know which thing they are doing)
      • Include a URL for their response (so I can have something to link to, and filters out the other messages)

      Thats way too much, I am seeing people getting 2/3, 1/3 0/3…

      I’m rethinking how to do it more simply, actually using the WordPress comments field, where people can type a response, add a link, or just put a URL I can oEmbed.

      It was worth it to learn to use an oauth tool, and the storm class library

      Code for the twitter approach is at https://github.com/cogdog/dailyblank

        1. I’m not 100% giving it up. I might try dropping the condition that a reply tweet need include a URL. It’s not even looking at whether the tweet is a reply, just that it mentions the specified account and has a hash tag that matches.

          I still seem to be missing replies, but it might be because they are already “old” in twitter’s eyes. I’m using a WordPress scheduled event to trigger the checks, I might have to make it a cron option as I am not sure if I am getting them regularly checked.

          Maybe I will wait until you figure it out ๐Ÿ˜‰

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