New WordPress Rating Plugin Automatically Places Reviews on Twitter

There’s a new rating plugin in town, but it’s probably not like any WordPress rating plugin you’ve seen before.

What makes the Kohrus Rate plugin ($39) different is that when you rate a post (1-5 stars), your rating gets tweeted to your Twitter timeline (along with any type of note you’d like to attach).

When I first saw this plugin, my initial thought was that this was similar to a Like on Facebook. It has a lot of the same elements to it that make it powerful for the site’s visitor, that visitor’s friends, the site owner, and of course even Twitter. It lets you easily share your opinions out to your social network with the click of a button.

And while all that is true, this plugin seems to ramp things up a notch for a few different reasons.

  • First, this isn’t a simple undifferentiated “Like.” It actually lets you dislike something by giving it 1/5 stars, for example. Or it lets you say something was only so-so with 3/5 stars.While this isn’t necessarily such a selling point for the site owner, in the end it probably still is. If someone rates something with one star and says something like, “This is ridiculous,” then a lot of people may still come check it out to see what’s so horrible. Once on your site, they’ll have the opportunity to make up their own minds.
  •  The second nice aspect of this plugin is that it does let you easily say something like, “This is ridiculous,” or “This is fantastic!” If you care enough to rate something, then it’s nice to also be able to add a comment about it. But you don’t have to. And that’s nice too.
  • The third nice aspect of the plugin is that it allows you to pre-populate the tweet with hash-tagged keyword. Of course the tweeter can easily change those tags or delete them, but many won’t unless the tags are, well, ridiculous.People are generally lazy when it comes to things like that. Most will probably look at your tags and say, “Oh, already done. Cool.” This gives you the ability to easily leverage an important element of the Twitter system in the way you want.

(Note: For all the advantages that the last two points above provide, it seems that a user can also mistakenly edit out important information from the tweet that is required in order for it to be recognized.)

 

The Plugin in Action

When you click on a star (located directly below posts by default), you get a pop-up that connects you to Twitter and presents you with a tweet box.

 

Here’s what the ratings look like on the page:

And here’s a quick look at some of the stats you get on your rated posts.


So How does It Work?

Here’s an explanation from the settings page:

One of the core tenets of the plugin is that scores are placed directly on twitter and we then crawl twitter to find those scores. To enable us to recognise tweets placing scores over other types of tweets we use a set of predefined strings within the tweet. To make the plugin work we add an @mention which will be your twitter account you setup, a URL which will be generated by the plugin, a hash which refers the page and the score (also a hash).

It is important to keep all four elements intact and while editing make sure there are spaces surrounding the elements.

And here’s a look at the default tweet box.

A few things to know about this plugin:

  1. It is a premium plugin and currently costs $39.
  2. You will need both a Twitter APP Key and a Bit.ly App Key – both free and relatively easy to set up.
  3. You may not see the ratings update on your page immediately. Twitter first has to be crawled and the ratings recorded. This may throw some visitors off; however, there is the ability to automatically send them a confirmation to their Twitter account.

If you’d liked to check this out, you can find it at kohrus.com (which I’m guessing is a play on “chorus”).

*** DISCOUNT: Kohrus is offering a discount for WPMU readers. Discount Code: wpmu

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