How To Use WordPress As A Twitter-Like Communication Tool
One of the most basic problems in most organizations (and perhaps relationships) is the lack of communication. When lines of communication are not open and clear, a myriad of complications arise. If you think about it, many a conflict could have been totally avoided if only communication was what it should have been.
There are many tools available to help people communicate. An important thing to remember is that different people have different preferences as to how they send and receive messages. For instance, some people prefer a phone call as opposed to a physical visit. Some people remember things better when they are written down and some people would prefer an answering machine message that they can refer to. These days, many people prefer an email as opposed to anything else to help them remember something.
When it comes to social interaction, the Internet and the web 2.0 has afforded us many different options for communication. We have email, wikis, forums, IM, chat, Twitter and Facebook, plus many more.
In this article I would like to share another tool that I think can be beneficial in ways that other tools are not. All you need is WordPress, P2 (and a plugin called “Members Only” if you want it to be private).
P2 is a theme or template for a WordPress site developed by Automattic (the folks who bring us WordPress) that is dynamic and simple all at once! P2 stands for Prologue 2. The first Prologue was a theme developed a while back in 2008, and it was inspired by Twitter. The idea was to make it easy to post quick updates to a blog making it more of a WordPress microblog similar to Twitter (140 characters a post makes Twitter “micro”).
The Automattic folks actually began using such a WordPress microblog as an internal communications tool. They’d post updates on what they are doing, where they were going or what they were working on.
They basically put a short form for typing in posts right on the front page which means no messing with the back end at all. There’s also a line for adding tags which helps organize the topics or categories. The WordPress microblog basically makes quicker, shorter messaging easier.
P2 takes all of this to the next level with some super cool features!
First of all, editing posts and comments are done right on the front page.
With the click of a link, you can show and hide the comment threads to make finding things a bit easier.
There is a whole list of keyboard shortcuts for those keyboard lovers in the crowd.
And my favorite, it has real-time updates! As posts and comments are posted, they appear! Obviously if you have comments set for moderation, they won’t post until approved, but you get the drift!
So that’s P2 (or Prologue 2), a WordPress microblog theme. The communication uses for such a tool are almost endless! It can be used like Automattic uses it, keeping the rest of the team updated on projects, etc. It can be used in Church groups. For instance, leaders can post memos, updates, schedules, and discussion topics allowing the rest of the group to stay informed and have a say in the comments. It could even be used as a micro-blogging tool much like Twitter, but self-hosted, and with threaded comments, like Facebook!
What’s your opinion? How would you use a tool such as P2? What other WordPress theme or plugin can afford a unique method of communication? Let us know!
Image credits: MorgueFile.com
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