Emoji Conbini and the Case for a Block Enhancements Directory

Screenshot of the emoji picker from the Emoji Conbini WordPress plugin.

In December of 2019, Nick Hamze, the owner of Sorta Brilliant, quietly launched Block Garden with a proposal for plugin authors to build block-based plugins off concepts, called seeds, from his site. He has since written extensively on the block editor and has shared a multitude of ideas, many of which are sorta brilliant.

It is easy to be drawn in by Hamze’s unabashed love for blocks. In a post titled “You aren’t busy, you’re just not excited,” Hamze challenges developers to build something, anything and not worry about it being perfect or becoming an earth-shattering product. “The purpose of Block Garden is to get you excited about blocks,” he wrote in the post. “To make you so excited about blocks that you’ll make the time to bring them to life. The community needs you more than you realize. I honestly believe that every person has at least one block in them. If I can get you to create that first block, I know you’ll be hooked for life.”

He has created a space for those who genuinely love the block editor. Block Garden is reminiscent of some of the early WordPress blogs where normal, everyday end-users shared their love of the platform. It is refreshingly optimistic. It is block geekdom at its finest. And, I kind of love it.

Hamze put out a job posting for block developers earlier this month. Several developers answered the call. “I can’t code but I have ideas and cash that I’m investing into blocks, mostly to keep the boredom at bay that is slowly killing me,” he said. “We are making some really fun blocks together. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

In a few short weeks, Hamze and his co-authors have released multiple block-related plugins through his Sorta Brilliant brand that are now available on the WordPress plugin directory:

  • P.S. – A container block for grouping blocks into a popover.
  • StreamShare for Twitch – Embed Twitch content into the block editor.
  • Ghostwriter – Adds a heading block style that types out the text on the front end, Ghostwriter style (for you fans of the ’90s TV series).
  • Ubiquitous Blocks – Exposes the Reusable Blocks admin screen and allows users to automatically add them to posts.

Emoji Conbini

Inserting an emoji with the Emoji Conbini plugin.

In collaboration with George Mamadashvili, Hamze’s latest release is the Emoji Conbini plugin. It adds an emoji inserter to the block editor toolbar.

Emoji Conbini utilizes the Emoji Mart library, which offers a Slack-like emoji picker. When the picker is open, the user merely needs to choose their preferred emoji. Users can also search for a specific emoji.

Hamze was aware of the Emoji Autocomplete Gutenberg plugin before commissioning his emoji plugin for the block editor. “I loved how easy it made adding emoji but I didn’t

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This article was written by Justin Tadlock and originally published on WordPress Tavern.

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