Composelicious: I fantasize about a WordPress plugin that doesn’t exist

I blog the way that I do because of certain mental quirks [digression deleted] that make it hard for me to blog any other way. Still, I’m convinced I could do better, with a little help. So I fantasize about a WordPress plugin that could take care of at least some of the bits that I find difficult… what it would have to do, how would it interact within WordPress, what would the user see, how to avoid wheel reinvention, etc.

I call it the Composelicious Magic Note Assistant. Here’s what it (hypothetically) does:

Are you good at microblogging? Semi-automate the process of composing and posting longer articles in a way that preserves your individual writing style and avoids looking like a spambot.

Hourly, Composelicious grabs your new bookmarks from your delicious account and/or other social bookmarking sites, saving them as “notes” which you can use as the building blocks of future articles. You can also convert existing draft posts into “notes”.

Composelicious sorts your notes, assembling rough article Pasteboards on your assorted topics, and searches for blog posts you’ve previously published and/or for offsite content which you may want to link to in your final draft. It minds the options you’ve entered regarding min/max amount of post content, and it also helps you post in a timely manner by prioritizing urgent/aging notes. And then it can send you an email to prompt you to review a nearly-complete Pasteboard.

When you’re at the Pasteboard, you can change the order of the notes; add, delete, or hide them; move notes to different Pasteboards if the plugin has erroneously categorized their topics; and finally press the Go button. Composelicious then makes the Pasteboard into a draft Post; you do your final read-through and rewrite on the conventional Edit Post page, and then publish the article.

Custom post types that Composelicious needs: two. MagicNotes and Pasteboards.

Questions begged: sorting notes by topic; what if I don’t use any social bookmarking sites; note urgency/aging and the posting schedule; automagically finding related content on other sites; prevention of double-posting a bookmark or other content; should it really be called Composelicious Magic Note Assistant. For now, I will spare you my further thoughts on those subjects.

Anyone interested in kicking some ideas around with me?

A quest for magic and better magic

The magic with which I am concerned is anything you do in your mind to bring about a desired result.  Prayer, visualization, analysis, practice–magic can be all of these and more.

Magic is the difference between perfect accuracy and peak efficiency. We all use it; it’s indispensable.

The kind of magic that involves breaking the laws of the physical universe is simply impossible.  It is therefore important to pursue, as much as you can, a true and accurate understanding of what is going on in the world and how things work.

Human brains evolved to operate more-or-less successfully even in the near-total absence of accurate understanding.  Some people get through their whole lives by magic alone.

Never mistake the map for the directions.  Truth is an important supplement to effective action, but focusing on creating an overly precise description of truth can distract us from acting effectively.

You never hear an actor say that she applied X joules of force within her facial muscles to bend her mouth into a 41° curve.  Such might be an accurate description of what she did, but it is probably not how she experienced it; nor is it of any assistance to an acting student who wants to portray emotion as powerfully as the professional does.

Any magic that you do to make life more wonderful for yourself and everyone,  I support.  But not all of the magic that you are able to use can be successfully used by others.  Magic is not wisdom unless it can be passed to many others and actually benefit them.

Lazyweb request: A Shortcode For Every Widget (WordPress 2.7 plugin)

Designate your own shortcode for any widget and then use the shortcode to insert the widget into the body of any page or post!

Oh, how I dream. I dream of clicking over to Appearance -> Widgets, and then, on my “random posts” widget settings, I can just type insertrandomposts in the “shortcode” field. And then I go to edit my “List Some Random Posts” page, and in the body of the page I include [insertrandomposts], and lo, List Some Random Posts now lists some random posts.

science

“…the best-kept secret of hybrid-electric vehicles is that this technology can have performance advantages in addition to better mileage.

“The reason you never hear about hybrids winning Formula 1 races is because the international sanctioning body banned the technology. Hybrid cars would have had an unfair advantage on the track because the electric motors would have given them bursts of extra power. Too quick for Formula 1? A hybrid? At recent motor shows, Honda and Ford rolled out variations on the hybrid theme that emphasize performance and power – not fuel efficiency. Both concepts borrow tricks refined in hybrids like the Insight to boost their engines, making them perform better. (Oh, and they pollute less and get better mileage, too.)”

The Christian Science Monitor explains why hybrids are here to stay.