lgSHOUT! is another little service I have put together for local government, following on from LGSearch, which went a little way to fixing the problem of getting relevant search results. lgSHOUT! tries to do something about communication.
The idea behind it is that it’s a Twitter for local government types. People can easily sign up and then post short messages to the rest of the community using a box on the home page, so no need to mess about with complicated blog editors and the like. People can respond to others by directly commenting on a shout, or by posting a shout of their own. Everyone can have an avatar and at the moment that’s handled by Gravatar.
So what sort of things might people want to use this service for?
- Posting interesting links they’ve seen on the web
- Yelling for help on something
- Sharing good practice
- Having a bit of a chat
It’s built on WordPress and the Prologue theme, and as such took about an hour to put together. The biggest problem was getting URLs that were pasted into the box to be parsed into clickable links – in the end I found this plugin. Bits of work to do include:
- Trying to get it to work with TinyURL like what Twitter does
- Giving the option of hosting avatars at lgSHOUT! as well as using Gravatar
- Tidying up the design a bit
So, I hope it’s useful to local gov folk. If you’ve got any queries about it, or fancy having something similar for another sector, just let me know!