Where are you big ideas at?

April 8, 2011

Share your ideas with us!

Issam has already talked about big ideas and social acceptance. As a refresher, big ideas must go through four stages of evolution before being socially accepted: silly, controversial, progressive and obvious. Examples given to illustrate the notion included the theory of a round earth and gay marriage.

For the third month of our TP1 agency calendar project, we decided to gauge the progress of certain big ideas in our community. To do so, we created a simple interface that you can use to voice your opinion on a big idea or submit one of your own.

Naturally, the challenges we faced were complex: privacy, HTML5 and design.


During his conference at SXSW, Christopher Poole (or as 4Chan users know him, moot) proposed that anonymity is the purest form of authenticity: “Anonymity is authenticity. It allows you to share in a completely unvarnished, raw way“. That’s why we decided that users would be able to submit their ideas in total anonymity.

But where it concerned comments, we decided to use the Facebook comments system to ensure that a dialogue could be built around each idea. In this case, comments could not be anonymous. After all, as any webby will tell you, Anonymity + Audience = WTF.


A very light Drupal framework provided the two essential functionalities we needed: submitting ideas and voting. As big ideas must be accessible on all platforms, we thus opted for HTML5 to offer a better user experience.

To help users present ideas that would be concise, clear and easy-to-read, we decided on a 120-character cap per idea. This limit would better keep the attention of readers and allow us to easily tweet the ideas proposed.

For the voting, we use VotingAPI module, which has the reputation of frequently being too complicated for the specific needs of individual use case. Of course, we wanted to verify this for ourselves, and unfortunately, the rumour seems to be true… Well, for this project anyway. When the urge to create your own module rather than deal with the existing option arises, it’s often a sign that something is definitely not working.

We have tried to integrate some HTML5 elements into every calendar project and this month’s was no exception. Although this project do not feature audio or video, they do include some specific semantic elements introduced by HTML5.

The tags used were chosen semantically, according to the role they play on the page. For example, the <article> tag is used for syndicated content. We are also very proud that our Drupal project doesn’t look like a Drupal project—even when we look at the source code. To accomplish this feat, we had to bypass more than a few default theme implementations in Drupal 6.


We wanted the emphasis to be on the idea and its stage, so we decided to minimize the visual noise to put greater focus on the idea. That’s how we came to choose basic colours and use plenty of open space.

Everyone here is truly excited at the prospect of seeing some big ideas come to life and how the community will accept them… or not.

Legal note

All submitted ideas remain the intellectual property of the authors. Neither TP1 digital agency, nor its clients, has any rights on ideas submitted as part of this project.