I use the P2 theme a lot. It’s handy. While using it with a few folks over the weekend I dreamed up and built a new plugin designed just for it.
Meet the P2 Check In plugin. It’s designed to work with the P2 theme, though it really could work with any WordPress theme. The plugin is a widget you drop into the sidebar (preferably to the top of the sidebar) which gives you a button for “checking in” and “checking out”. Checked in users are shown in the sidebar, along with how long they’ve been in and the total time they’ve been checked in to the site.
The aggregate check in times have made the users I’ve talked to a bit competitive about the amount of time they’re checked in. The language the plugin uses (“I’m here!” and “I’m leaving.”) is left purposely vague so the true meaning can change depending on how it’s used. I developed it specifically for the user-case where users are checking in to a physical location (kind of a private “who’s at the office now” thing) but it could just as easily be used to show who’s actively watching the P2 or working on a specific project.
I’ve got a few more ideas for future versions of the plugin, but this is already pretty useful. If you use P2 at all, give this one a try and see if it helps you and your team use P2 just a little bit smarter. I hope you like it.
(By the way, there are a slew of other P2 plugins that are handy and linked up over on WPCandy.)