So the WordPress team has released a super theme called Prologue. The basic idea is to create a Twitter-like system for teams of bloggers. I, personally, can’t think of many uses for Prologue, and I know it won’t replace Twitter any time soon, but the uses I can come up with are very interesting.
Twitter shouldn’t fear Prologue because of the differences between the system. With Prologue, you don’t follow your friends, and the system is closed for growth. This means if you want to see what your friends are up to, you have to go ahead and invite them to post on what is basically a tumblelog.
What I do like about it is that it doesn’t require people to go into the WordPress Administration panel to post. If they are logged in, they see a quick way to add their thoughts to the site.
Prologue will make a great inter-blogger communication system for blog networks, and even better, it can be easily closed off to the general public, making it useful for business conversations. Sure, there is e-mail, and instant messaging, but I think Prologue could sit between them.
You need to talk to many people who aren’t always online at the same time, but the conversation would get too unruly in e-mail? You could post to the private Prologue blog, and all the other people on your team can respond via the comment form on the post, making it easy to follow and helping create clear communication.
I am very happy to see that they have already released an update, showing that they are willing to support the community in developing this into a powerful extension to WordPress.
The front page on Prologue originally only showed one post per user. Many people were confused by this or didn’t like it. After taking a step back I tend to agree, so a more traditional stream of the most recent posts is now shown. Pages are first class citizens again with their own template. Since posts in Prologue don’t have user supplied titles it now generates a title for WordPress based on the content of the post. This makes other features of WordPress work as expected (like the Recent Comments widget).
For those of you who want to try out Prologue on your own WordPress.org site you’ll be happy to know that it now works with WordPress 2.3.2 out of the box. Initially I’d made use of a function (in the author template) that wasn’t available in 2.3.2, now that has been fixed. Sorry about that.
I really love the simplicity of the theme’s design, and I enjoy the fact that they have made it available to WordPress.com users, but I dislike that it isn’t bundled in an easy to use downloadable file for the general public.
Currently, if you want to download and use Prologue, you have to grab it using Subversion, or download each file one by one using your web browser.
It would be nice if they packaged it up, and even better if they continued to help support the theme. I really think this could create some nice communities on WordPress.com and for WordPress.org if given support from its creators.
If you have a customized install of Prologue, with different design elements, or plugins used to extend its features. I would love to hear about it. Is Prologue a great addition to WordPress? Do you intend on using it?
I am thinking about getting the Splashpress team to share a Prologue powered installation of WordPress as part of our communication system. Do we need another communication system, or should e-mail and instant messaging be enough?