There’s a popular saying “two heads are better than one.” This saying is especially true when it comes to developing new ideas.
Idea sharing is key to learning, whether this means for a student or a business. As opposed to the traditional thought, collaboration doesn’t have to come from sitting around a table in an office. It can come from minds across the world.
Putting these many minds together stimulates creativity. This is the main benefit of online idea management systems that welcome ideas from everyone and show them in a centralized area.
There are many uses for online idea management tools. These tools allow people to submit original ideas and rate other people’s ideas. The best ideas naturally rise to the top, while bad ideas fizzle out.
A good example is the idea system used by WordPress.org. WordPress.org uses this platform to gather helpful ideas for future versions of WordPress. The platform currently boasts over 4,000 ideas organized into different categories like accessibility, performance, and taxonomy.
WordPress.org users are able to rate ideas. The top ideas get the attention of decision makers, who because of this platform, have a better idea of what their user base wants. In addition, viewing other users’ ideas has the potential to spur entirely new ideas or solidify already existing ones. With enough interaction, the possibilities are enormous.
It seems everyone wins with idea sharing. Users have their ideas and concerns heard while helping to spur a culture of innovation within their favorite brands. Businesses have new ideas already out of the starting gate.
Idea Stimulators for e-Learning
An example of a type of site that can benefit from an idea management system is an e-learning site. If you’re looking to develop an effective e-learning environment, having good course material isn’t enough. Students must engage with the course and come up with their own ideas based on the course topic.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Say an e-course is about helping the environment, specifically, how to conserve resources. The instructor poses a question to students: How can the average person reduce the amount of water they consume? Students then brainstorm ideas.
(See this example in action in the WordPress plugins section)
An online idea stimulator can promote idea sharing between students. This gives an important collaboration aspect a lot of online e-learning environments often miss.
By promoting idea formation and development, course instructors can help students apply the information they are learning. Instead of course information falling flat, help your students engage with the material. This can increase the success and popularity of your e-course.
Idea Systems for Businesses
Innovation is incredibly important for any business. The competition for innovation is tough and may leave your business struggling to keep up. This is where having a system to track and manage new ideas comes in handy.
An idea management system can give businesses new ideas they already know are approved by customers. This can keep businesses on top of emerging trends. Recruiting the opinions of the masses can also help re-work existing ideas that might need a fresh perspective.
Many top businesses use these types of systems. For example, Dell has IdeaStorm where users can submit ideas for new products they’d like to see.
Starbucks had a similar platform called My Starbucks Idea. Have an idea for a new frappuccino flavor? Submit it!
The cool thing is, many of these ideas are actually implemented. Not only can the average person become an innovator, businesses benefit from putting together as many minds as possible.
Idea Management Plugins
Sounds good so far, right?
How does someone create such a platform on a website? This is fairly easy when using WordPress as your CMS.
If you’re looking for a WordPress-specific option for creating an idea sharing system, you’re in luck. There are several great plugins available to reap the benefits of idea sharing.
This plugin lets users submit and vote on ideas from the front-end. It only allows logged in users to submit ideas. Users can vote once per idea. Admin are able to moderate submitted ideas and votes.
WP Idea Stream is another popular idea management plugin. Users can submit ideas in different categories. Display best rated ideas, a navigation menu, and tag cloud in widgets.
This plugin is also integrated with BuddyPress, so ideas can be shared within specific groups. Admin also have the ability to moderate comments on ideas and ratings.
Here’s another option: An add-on plugin for the CM Answers plugin called CM Idea Stimulator. This plugin creates a tool for users to submit ideas in the front-end of a WordPress site.
This plugin is great for e-learning and business innovation uses. Users can ask for suggestions in response to their posted idea. They can even attach photos and videos with a description of their idea.
Ideas are displayed with view counters and approval ratings. They also show progress toward an approval objective. The Idea Stimulator add-on transforms CM Answers into an elegant, customizable idea management system.
Idea System vs. Contact Form
It may seem simple to create a similar platform using a contact form instead of a plugin designed specifically for this function. Through a contact form, users can submit their ideas directly to your business or online course without displaying them on the website.
Using a contact form misses out on the essential collaboration aspect necessary for an idea management system. Receiving input from others about an idea gives more feedback and helps create a clear picture of a customer base. In the case of e-learning, peer interaction is essential.
The Take Away
Adding an idea management system to your WordPress site can increase creativity and innovation for almost every niche. The community interaction aspect has the potential to build great, new ideas for businesses or for learning purposes.
Creativity doesn’t have to fall to only a couple of people in an organization. Now, businesses can extend the ability to innovate to every employee or to anyone using the internet. Idea management systems offer flexibility and speed that surpasses traditional innovation methods.