Updated Notes from Cultivating Community

The following are some key links from my talk on Cultivating Community at WordUp Austin on January 21, 2012 (and now again at the WordPress Austin meetup on Feb 28, 2012). You can find the slides over on Google Docs, but the real magic came in person…

Follw on Twitter

@wpatx – I’m running the official WordPress Austin Twitter account now, you should follow it!


Jetpack – Has a new module that allows users to subscribe to comments.
Disqus – A managed plugin that adds new community features to comments.
Intense Debate – A plugin managed by Automattic that adds social features to comments.
Social Plugin for WordPress – A light(er)weight plugin by Crowd Favorite for allowing comments via Twitter and Facebook.
Livefyre – The new kid on the block, with added features like live comments.
Akismet – Quality spam protection for your growing comment section.

Ask questions

Topic Tueday – A new question once a week that is locked to comments from users only. A point multiplier is also in effect.

Poll Your Audience

PollDaddy – A powerful and easy to use poll plugin maintained by Automattic.
WP-Polls – A lightweight poll plugin written by Lester ‘Gamerz’ Chan.


Mailchimp – A paid (and thus pretty awesome) email newsletter solution.
Mailchimp Subscribe Plugin – A easy widget for newsletter subscriptions.
Jetpack – Has a new module that allows users to subscribe to your blog.
Feedburner – An old-school RSS tool that offers an email newsletter digest.

Get Social

Social Bartender – Easy, WP-menu-like drag and drop setup for all your social network links.
Sociable – Configurable sharing links and widgets for all your content.
Explore – There are more social plugins than hairs on my head. Check them out and find out that works for you!
Pin it! – A Pinterest plugin for adding a ‘Pin it’ button to your content.
Easy Pinterest – Display your latest pins and boards in your WordPress sidebar.

Identity / Influence

And Me Account – A sample account from my site, showing real name, user pic, user score, percentile rank, and links to various social accounts.
Gravatar – A widely used avatar service maintained by Automattic.
Cubepoints – A lightweight point tracking system with modules that make for easy customization.
Bunchball – Full-bore gamification with badges and achievements and all that stuff.


Pick Giveaway Winner – A super simple plugin for running bespoke contests with user comments.
25 Days of Tegra – My biggest promo to date, where we gave away a device per day only to users, generating tens of thousands of user interactions.
#HackTheNews – A sample contest I ran on Android and Me where users could tweet stories with tweaked headlines, generating over 1k tweets in barely a week.
Midweek Madness – A weekly contest with usually small prizes.

Do Things with your Users

get_users – A new (since 3.1) function for working with users. Makes things super simple (compared to the old ways, at least).
update_user_meta – A super-handy function for adding and updating extra information to any user account. Use with get_user_meta.
orderby=comment_count – A parameter you can use when querying posts to return the most commented posts.