Ben Gillbanks also known as Binarymoon on Twitter has relaunched the domain, WPVote.com. The first thing you’ll notice about the site is the colorful design which is better than the previous one. I especially like the use of red to direct attention to the number of votes each article has received. Registering to the site was easy thanks to a quick registration form in lightbox fashion. In the past, digg like websites that were created to center around WordPress content were either built on Pligg or some other system. WPVote is powered by WordPress, which it should be. Starting in late 2009, Ben has shared each step of the rebuilding process of the site. Part one even includes a screenshot of what the site used to look like.
As a registered user, you have limited access to the back-end of the website. Users have the ability to access the tools menu in case they want to install Google Gears. The dashboard shows activity all across the site, including the most recent comments. I have not been keeping tabs on Ben’s posts but I’m intrigued on whether he plans on creating an all new back-end specifically centered around what is happening on the front-end.
The submission process is also in lightbox form with text fields to include an article title, article URL, tags, category, and a description of the article with a captcha field at the bottom. After the article is submitted, you’ll either be told the submission was successful or denied. If the article is successful, you’ll have to click the X to remove the box and then nothing happens. I’d like to be redirected to the part of the site that has my submission just so I can confirm its there and possibly edit it if necessary. I ended up refreshing the page and my article submission appeared in the sidebar on the right under Recent Submissions. However, I still think it shouldn’t need the end user to refresh the site to see it. The page refresh can occur at the same time I am redirected to the page where the article is.
The article page itself is nicely laid out. Breadcrumb navigation, great structure, and links to share the content or subscribe to the Comments Feed for that post.
Will It Succeed?:
That’s the question that only time can answer but based on what I’ve seen in the past, the chances are slim. No other digg like site that has been created with a focus around WordPress only content has become successful to the point where it’s the go to place for social interactivity and link sharing. To a large extent, I’d say it will be even harder to take off thanks to the likes of Twitter and retweeting. Would you rather share a link or retweet a cool WordPress story to people on Twitter, or go through the submission form on a site like WPVote where the site has a lesser chance of being noticed? Digg itself is still chugging along but there are a ton of factors that go into why that is. As for WPVote, it will take a considerable amount of mentions from prominent members of the community as well as continued effort on their part to help turn WPVote into a success. I wish Ben the best of luck on the uphill battle.
Personally, I think it would be cool to see the powers that be of WordPress to take something like WPVote and use the system in place of the entire WordPress Planet. Something like WPVote could become the new WordPress Planet where the community plays a larger role in what gets seen and what doesn’t.
Hmm… what about a plugin (similar to Sociable et al) that allows a reader to submit a post directly to wpvote? That might help the site gain some traction…