Thanks for the interest in the plugin. I totally agree that this fulfills the task of, show something, and student responds, and my students always enjoyed using Hot Question just for that type of class activities. I was the "faculty sponsor" for our school newspaper and it was extremely handy for getting students input on story ideas.
"This is more than a 'question'. I wonder if there is a better description?"
Well, the plugin was originally made so that students could ask questions in real time, and vote (add heat) on submitted questions they thought most important, so the plugin was named Hot Question. Like you, I think there might be a better description for it based on all the possible uses other than questions, so I'm open to suggestions. I have gradually started making it less "question" orientated by adding and making changes that make it a little more generic.
"Fully featured atto in response field." In my experience, this would be a grave mistake. Right now all entries for each round are added in a nice, neat, uniform list, right below the response field. If you give students a full editor, they will start to waste time and effort on trying to "decorate" their response to make it stand out, which actually just wastes space and makes the entries harder to read. Nowadays, most students block print when writing by hand, but when typing in class, my students would try to find the most flowery, difficult to read fonts they could, and increase the font size from normal to ridiculous. I literally had to start taking points off grades to make them turn in easily read text.
Way to post without stopping video. Use a different media filter for the video that pops it open in another window so it is not on the same page as the post button. I just used what I had handy.
Maybe video on left, posts on the right. This is not really a, video with response, type activity. That layout would require a rewrite of the plugin to accommodate one, specialized use, of the activity. Besides, if you come up with a way to have the video in it's own window so you can post without stopping the video, this change is not needed.
You are welcome to try making changes to the samples where you logged in yesterday. I haven't had a chance to see if there is another youtube player filter that will open in another window, as I am busy trying to add some new capability to another plugin I've adopted.