Save Posts, pages, Media, Etc to Community Groups

So I would really, really, really, like the ability to save posts, pages, media, custom post types, etc to a community group from a widget inside the page I am working on. Then other users can search for the thing and copy it to their site. I think that it would be great to have public and private resources for other bloggers to share with each other. Anyone else like this idea? It would be really good for teachers too!

  • PC

    Hey there Brashell,

    Thanks for your post.

    I like your idea too but am not 100% sure on how that should work.

    Can you kindly elaborate a bit, perhaps using some examples ?

    A post/page when created on a site can be public or private depending on the author's choice. If its public it would be visible to everyone and if you set it to private it would be visible to the admin who created it.

    Kindly elaborate so that I can assist accordingly.

    Cheers, PC

  • Brashell

    Ok, so in the community plugin there are the wikis and boards and other stuff for each group. Everyone in that group obviously owns a blog. Now what about sharing resources to with everyone in that group? So say I write a page about something, once I finish the page there would be a metabox in the admin area that has a list of groups I am in each with a checkbox next to it. I click the checkbox next to the groups who I want to be able to use my page in their own blog and then it saves it to the database. Then when another user from another blogs wants something, they can search the community group for the page or post or custom post type, and it will popup. They can then click some sort of button and basically download that post to their site. So now they can use the post. It would work great for teachers to share like documents and such with each other who own different blogs in the network. Getting the documents and joining a group to get the documents and setting if the group is private and such is made possible by the community plugin. Does this clarify it a bit more? I found several posts from a few years ago on here, some newer as well, asking for basically the same thing.

  • Paul

    @Brashell,

    I'm not sure I follow your logic on this. So you create a post on your blog then want to somehow share/import this to other blogs/sites? Shouldn't this be the reverse. You create the entry in Community then other blogs/sites can reference that entry? Maybe I'm thinking too linearly.

    This was sort of the point that confused me

    They can then click some sort of button and basically download that post to their site.

    So you are copying content from one blog to others. Isn't this sort of wrong to duplicate content? Per SEO rules anyway. I mean when I see an article on New York Times. I don't 'copy' the article. But I can blog about the article and give my thoughts against it. And even link to it.

    I do like the idea of controlled sharing. But still as this is about the Community plugin I think the content needs to start there. We don't want to have too many blogs within blogs. That would be confusing.

    Then again maybe this needs to be run by our new internal features review. @PC I don't know who picked up the Community plugin point.

  • Brashell

    @Paul My multisite blogs are used by teachers just like edublogs. Instead of jumbling up emails full of imports and exports and deleting and losing them and all the other problems they can simply use this. They would write a post or save a document just as they normally would, then there would be a widget to save the page in like a resource area for all the people in their community group to use for their class and blog. When they want to use it, they simply click some sort of button and it will be downloaded to their blog. Then they can re-use it, modify it, etc. I don't think teachers care much about SEO anyway to be honest.

  • Brashell

    Obviously it needs to work with custom post types as well. I was thinking the metabox would save the info about the post, like post type, post id, blog id etc. Then something like content copier would automatically get all the details instead of inputting them in manually and import it to the current users site. Groups/communities comes into play because teachers will want groups to work with other teachers and such. They will also want to be able to password lock it. Is this making a bit more sense what I am saying now?

  • Brashell

    Also @Paul I think it would take to long to make an entry inside the Community Groups as well and you won't be able to do custom post types. The users know it is going to be used an taken too. If I make a quiz (custom post type or PDF even) and I am in the group High School Name Math Department, I can then share that quiz from my site to them and then later they can go into the group and download it their site and use it themselves instead of me having to email, upload, save, share, it simplifies it. Maybe even share to friends too for single to single share?

  • Paul

    @Brashell,

    Thanks for the continued details. But this really does not sound like something key to the Community plugin. IT really sounds like a sharing option where one blog can share content to other blogs. You don't really need the Community plugin fro this.

    And what happens with the copied content on the other destinations? Seems you would be introducing variation into this issue. So for example you write a quiz as you mentioned. And share it with three other users. Each of these other blogs change your quiz just slightly. Then they share it with others. Maybe quiz is a bad example. But thinking along the lines of copied content. There is no control outside of your own blog once the content is copied to the other blogs. They can change is and produce it as their own to others.

    Something to think about is maybe not using Community for this. We (WPMU DEV) already offer some other tools like AutoBlog, Post Indexer, Content Copier.

    The Post Indexer is a great tool and will basically build a central database of all post types and taxonomies within a Multisite system. You can control the sites included as well as what post types and taxonomies. There is also some API functions to query this central table. So maybe that is somewhat of a better solution to start A post is marked into a specific category and pulled into this central table. Then a plugin could be written to pull in these central records to show on other blogs.

  • Brashell

    Schoology, Blackboard, both do this. You create groups with others, then share the resources from your site to that group. This is a key part about learning and teaching, sharing and collaborating with other teacher. The community plugin is important to use as it creates the groups with others, else you would be rebuilding the community plugin base idea, and adding the sharing option. https://www.schoology.com/classroom-management.php see Collaborate and Improve. Variation doesn't matter, teachers don't care what happens to it, they shared it with someone, now they can share it with others if they want. They can make the group public or private using the communities plugin. The content copier uses a few things when copying something, a blog to copy from, the post id's of the post to be copied, and a destination blog. With a metabox we could grab these 3 things from the post and store it into a table that the community plugin has access to. It will then list a little more info maybe, like the post title which we can grab to, then give a preview button maybe. Then there will be a copy button next to it. When we hit the copy button, it will get the info about the post from the database and then using something similar to content copier, automatically get it from the database and save it to the site. This saves space by not using the post indexer and also keeps the comments and doesn't over complex things to much. I am trying to stay away from the post indexer as I tried this route already and I wasn't able to do it very easily. Its a lot simpler just to use a similar script to the content copier plugin to copy and get content.

  • Vaughan

    Hi

    Just reading through your ideas. I'm thinking along the same lines as @paul here though. I think I understand what you are wanting to achieve and why, but i am not so sure this would actually be of benefit to the community plugin as a whole. That's not to say something like this wouldn't be useful in a few unique cases such as yours, that I agree with and is a good idea. But maybe this functionality could possibly be achieved via a seperate plugin which can hook into communities and wordpress instead, like an add-on plugin for communities or something along those lines which could add the meta box with a button like 'submit to community group'.

    Will have to have a think about this though.

    Cheers

  • Brashell

    This wouldn't just be useful to me, edublogs as well, now teachers can share resources. Medical, Legal, Education, Bloggers, anyone would find use for this. Doctors could share new ways of performing surgery within their community group. Attorneys could share and set precedents on how they won a case. Teachers can share quizzes, tests, videos, images, posts, and pages with each other. Other bloggers who are friends can share ideas an basic posts and create, or use that post. People inside a group are allowed to be there, when something is shared, they know whats going to happen to it. I truly thing it is something that others will like. Please consider building it, I wouldn't push for it if I didn't think it would be worth it in the end.

  • Vaughan

    Well I'll add a +1 for an add-on. @Brashell certainly has put a good case & argument up for it.

    I have some other ideas for communities plugin floating around in my head at moment too, though whether they're feasible or not is another matter. I think BuddyPress could do with some healthy competition for starters & in a sense communities plugin could possibly play a part of that, but that's a whole different concept than the one discussed here.

    Cheers

  • faydra_deon

    @Brashell:

    I read through your explanations of sharing content.

    I may be thinking way too simply, and don't laugh me out of the room, but couldn't this be done with "Press This?"

    I mean, if I find content in a group that I belong to that I want to put on my site, why couldn't I just use "Press This" to duplicate it over to my own blog, and then someone else could use "Press This" to duplicate it over to their blog?

    Again, I may be thinking far too simply for what you're trying to accomplish, but I thought I'd mention it just in case it'll work in the interim until an add-on is created.

    Faydra...

    "Press This" codex on WordPress.org: http://codex.wordpress.org/Press_This

    Press This Reloaded plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/press-this-reloaded/ [I haven't used it, but I thought it might be worth a look, if you decide to determine whether "Press This" will work for now.

  • Brashell

    No it won't, there is a lot of post meta that is secured in the backend and not visible to the front-end, it would also require you to search around for things which wouldn't be a simple resource center. It would be a lot more efficient to save the posts information via a metabox into the communities table then use the content copier to automatically take the info. Press This also wouldn't have that privacy feature some want. Thanks for the suggestion, but it no where comes close to what were thinking. Cheers! - Brandon

  • James Farmer

    Pretty detailed stuff guys and I get the point, essentially you're looking for a way that users can share their own (and possibly others) content in a shared area.

    The challenge is how you determine what the shared area is and who has access to it (hence the communities plugin).

    I can definitely see the desirability of that, and I've had the idea of building up a kinda pinterest for education myself... the challenge is that to essentially develop a fully featured content collaboration and sharing tool for an MU install would be a pretty intense project and probably not hav ethat wide an appeal.

    With stuff like this ourselves we generally look for a third party platform, like we use Asana for project management (why roll your own, it's too hard & complex and there are too many good ones out there) and mailchimp for 'high scale' email... same issue.

    To be honest some sort of gdocs / pinterest / diigo setup might do it for you. Heck, maybe there's a startup in it!

  • Brashell

    Do you think its something that you guys would be willing to do? I don't really think it would be incredibly difficult.

    1st We create a metabox inside all posts and media as well, where it displays all the groups the user is a part of and a checkbox next to each group, when the checkbox is clicked and the post or media is saved (we will add autosave to this) the posts originating information will be saved in a custom database table, the table will include the following information about where the post is and its creator and info, the blog_id where the post is located, the user_id of the user who created the post, the group_id the post was saved to, the post title, the post type, a post excerpt, a link to the post and the post_id

    2nd In the group area it will display all of the posts “resources” that are saved to the group, basically selecting all posts that have that group_id then displaying an organized table that can be searched and by post type, name, and content/excerpt/description. Then next to the post in the table you will have two buttons, View and Duplicate. When View is clicked the user will be taken in a new tab to the post where they can see the post. When they hit duplicate it will copy the post into the users blog, basically by getting the current blogs id

    3rd The duplication concept is quite simple. Something like the WPMUDEV Content Copier plugin will be utilized but done automatically. What it will do in theory is get the info stored in the table for what needs to be copied. It will use the source blog_id as where the source, the post_id as the post to copy, and the destination blog will be the current blogs id. Now you will just need to basically automate this.

    I can imagine about 4 - 5 days of development spent on this to be honest, probably even less. I have been trying to make it happen for months but have had no success, only had the little money I had stolen, and hours spent reading tutorials trying to learn how to code it.

  • James Farmer

    A decent plugin, even the simplest, will always take a month at least... this really isn't that simple I'm afraid, it'd be a major project to get it right and to a WP<MUD EV standard.

    You might find different on elance or freelancer... but that's not really our style :wink:

    Which isn't to say that we don't do that kind of thing, just that there has to be the demand for it from members (and the market, naturally, we're a business after all), and as I mentioned before a good reason to make it rather than use a third party.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.