Although there are a number of extremely nice-to-have plugins for WordPress, more than a few speed hacks that one should definitely consider using, and certainly some much needed community-related plugins to increase discussion and community, there are very few that I will ever endorse so completely that I would say that you have to have it.
But here’s one for the money.
The Meet Your Commenters Plugin is an absolute essential for your WordPress blog, especially if you’re an online community pastor, if you’re already creating and establishing online community in your blog, or are just straight up interested in being evangelical with your blog and using it as a means for real-life engagements and relationships.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is… if you’re interested in building better and stronger relationships and community through your blog, then this is a plugin for you.
What this plugin does in a nutshell is leverage the Google Social Graph API (brilliantly done, I might add) and parse through the data and return your blog commenters information into something tangible and significant.
What it shows you is the other online communities and websites that user uses and participates in so that you can begin to reach out to them where they are rather than waiting (and hoping and praying) that they’ll ever come back. So go to them!
In addition, it’ll show you the other posts that they’ve commented on so you can track history of engagement, etc.
Wow. Amazing. Simple. Brilliant.
From a research and information-gathering perspective, this is huge. From a metrics and return on PR engagement, this one’s a “no-duh” type scenario. From a ministry online engagement initiative or campaign, you’d be backwards not to use it.
So download it, upload it, install it, and then check it out (don’t forget it’s a link in your “Dashboard”).
Tell me what you find!
And one final thought: This is just one more reason to switch to WordPress as your ministry blogging weapon of choice.