Tag Archives: writetothem

Updates to WriteToThem WordPress Widget

I’ve given my WriteToThem WordPress plugin a well overdue refresh this evening.

You can download the latest version from the WordPress.org plugin repository now.

Here’s what’s changed;

  • Re-write: For those technically minded it now uses the WP_Widget class as it should do, which makes it much tidier.
  • Translations: I’ve also added support for translations so, if you want to make a Welsh or any other language version you can!
  • Filters: There are some filters in there (search the code for apply_filters to see them) for you to tweak the output if you’re looking for some advanced customisation.
  • GitHub: The code is also on GitHub so if you want to contribute, please do!

If you have any issues with the plugin, please post in the forums over at WordPress.org where I can better help you.

WriteToThem.com WordPress plugin

As if the TheyWorkForYou.com plugin wasn’t enough I’ve also created a plugin for WriteToThem.com as well!

The plugin adds a new widget which your blog readers can use to get in touch with their politicians from councillors to MEPs. There’s a demo video and instructions on how to set up over on the Talk About Local blog.

You can download the plugin now and subscribe for future updates.

Hyperlocal: Give me your ideas, I’ll (try and) make it happen.

Some of you may be aware that I’ve begun writing a WordPress plugin using OpenlyLocal. It’s not the only thing I’m working on though, and I have lots of ideas. However, I know that there’s plenty of hyperlocals out there that probably have their own ideas of what would make their life easier, or just more interesting.

So I’m asking: what tools do you want for your hyperlocal? Try and think about the things that you don’t find it so easy doing as well as the ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ ideas. Here are some of mine;

  • OpenlyLocal
    • Upcoming meetings widget
    • Councillor information attached to posts
    • Meeting information attached to posts (e.g. links to minutes, those in attendance)
    • Councillor profiles
    • Contact the council widget
  • TheyWorkForYou widget (showing recent activity by your MP)
  • WriteToThem widget (i.e. a button for direct access to e-mail your MP/councillors)
  • FixMyStreet alerts widget
  • Weather widget (including flood warnings – and Andy Mabbett suggested tide times for coastal locations and pollen counts)
  • Recent investigations (powered by Help Me Investigate)
  • FoI requests widget (powered by WhatDoTheyKnow)
  • Upcoming blood donation sessions (thanks to John Cronin)
  • Schools (I don’t know what but something with schools)
  • Hospitals, doctors surgeries, dentists (actually, this is leading onto an Uber Map)
  • Police information (such as recent arrests, appeals, upcoming surgeries)
  • Travel news; including public transport (thanks Martin)
  • Planning applications (hat-tip to Martin again)
  • Food safety ratings (e.g. through the excellent RateMyPlace)
  • Eating out guide, including integration with RateMyPlace
  • Health services, such as comments from NHS Choices (thanks to Will Perrin for this one)
  • Early Day Motions signed by your MP, using EDMs.org.uk
  • Local sports club results & league tables (thanks Ed)
  • ‘Tell us what’s going on locally’ like on Berkamsted People (via Josh)
  • A Groups Near You widget
  • Petrol prices (cheers Ed!)
  • Yoosk! …I don’t know what, but something needs to be done with Yoosk.
  • Tweetminster widget showing councillors/MPs who tweet, maybe aggregate their tweets.
  • Schools closures (e.g. when there’s a tiny smattering of snow)
  • Bin collections (and warnings when the torrent of snowfall comes)
  • Bus routes/timetables/announcements
  • School holiday dates

I’m thinking all those will also be available in the WordPress admin for blog owners to use them to generate stories. I’ve probably missed something too, so suggest away!