Tools for hyperlocals: OpenlyLocal WordPress plugin

I’m starting to develop a range of tools for hyperlocal sites, taking advantage of the extensibility of blogging platform, WordPress. My first effort is using the fantastic OpenlyLocal site and all the data provided in raw XML.

So far, I’ve built the bare bones of the plugin, an admin page to select the local authority and then a simple widget which displays upcoming council meetings.

Very simple widget.
Very simple widget.

There is a big list of ideas in my head of what I could do with this but I’m not sure what would be most desirable to the masses (I want it all, now) so I’ve set up a Get Satisfaction page and added a few ideas just to get the ball rolling. Please go there and do at least one of two things;

  1. ‘Like’ an existing idea. This helps decide where I should focus my efforts.
  2. Suggest a new idea. If there’s something I haven’t thought of, please tell me!

It’d be great if you could just leave your general thoughts about ideas too. The more collective knowledge I get the better the plugin will be and that’s only going to be good for hyperlocal sites everywhere!



11 responses to “Tools for hyperlocals: OpenlyLocal WordPress plugin”

  1. CountCulture Avatar

    This is great. Many thanks.

    p.s. I’m thinking some WordPress users may need help installing this, and also setting up (at what point do you choose council, and can you change it once chosen?).

  2. Philip John Avatar

    I’m going to add a message to the dashboard upon activation that says “you need to choose your council!” Like the Akismet plugin does when it asks for a WP API key…

    The setting can be changed at any time. When it’s changed, it sets/updates a global variable with the council ID and everything else just runs of that so changing that setting will update all the widgets etc.

  3. william perrin Avatar

    very good indeed – there is a stack emerging here for transparent open data

    1 – publish it, somehow
    2 – let good, benevolent ppl like @countculture organise it
    3 – simplify it to a plug in(s) for poular tools
    4 – dissemenate plug in and see it in local sites
    5 – (not yet quite there) drive local engagement by revealing stuff thro data

    there remains a slight GIGO problem with the stuf councils churn out in meeting papers etc but much of the data is vital to the business of local democracy.

  4. Andy Mabbett Avatar

    Cool. Once OpenlyLocal has microformats, please pass them through to the mark-up in the widget, unmolested.

  5. Michele Ide-Smith Avatar

    Fab idea! Look forward to seeing more stuff like this on a WP site near me soon.

  6. Philip John Avatar

    Thanks for all your comments! First of many plugins, I promise…

  7. Warren Avatar

    Good work 🙂

  8. […] in the UK, Philip John has just announced a new OpenlyLocal WordPress plugin that looks very cool. (Hope he doesn’t mind me grabbing the screenshot from his blog […]

  9. […] Tools for hyperlocals: OpenlyLocal WordPress plugin – Philip John – […]

  10. […] first person in the world to compile a service like this.  Philip John of Lichfield Blog has been working on a wordpress plug in to make it easier for local publishers to bring council information from Openly Local into their […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *