Idea: “LiveJournalish” WordPress Plugin

I’ve been doing a lot of work with LiveJournal/WordPress lately, and have been seeing that there are some passionate LJ users who are loyal to the platform largely for a few specific reasons/features. It seems like those features would mostly be pretty easy to replicate on WP though, given its flexible plugin system.

The main features that LJ supports that WP is (or was) “missing” seem to be:

  • Robust permissions (create a group of people, grant them access to view a post, but no one else, etc)
  • Support for integrated “metadata” on posts such as Current Music, Current Mood, etc
  • Reply to comments directly via the notification emails you get
  • Threaded comments
  • Userpics

Some of these features (threaded comments, userpics) are already at least partially supported in WP, and there are ways of supporting the others that could perhaps be rolled into a single plugin (which I’m calling “LiveJournalish” for now).

  • Customize the Post UI to include specific fields for music/mood, but save them as normal Custom Fields (postmeta).
  • Add a filter to the_content that appends a specific set of Custom Field values if they are set (or just make them more readily available via a different template tag)
  • Use IntenseDebate, which allows you to reply to comments via email, or perhaps roll up something new that includes the comment posting form in an HTML version of the email?
  • Threaded comments are available in core as of WP 2.7

This leaves the permissions system as being the main thing missing, and I believe that’s going to be addressed in the near future. WP already has a Roles and Capabilities system, it just needs to be extended to be more robust as far as being used for controlling permissions. Some of the DiSo work being done also requires this, so now we have another use-case for it.

Just some random ideas, if you have another other suggestions feel free to put them in the comments.

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