WordPress and Internal Corporate Communications? Why we use P2.

“He who writes abides.”—Dictums tend to leave the mind as quickly as they entered. Hence it is wise to capture ideas and thoughts in writing. With WordPress and the free P2 theme you can accelerate and improve communication within your company, among project teams, clubs and even family members.

For over a decade developers have been focussing on two core competences with WordPress: publishing and communicating. P2 as an easy to use theme concentrates exactly on these two.

P2 is a derivative of Prologue, a theme published by Automattic five years ago. Prologue’s key feature was a front-end editor. User were enabled to publish new content without having to switch to the dashboard first. Prologue was perfect for publishing short messages and status updates, slightly resembling Twitter which was experiencing its medial breakthrough at the time.

I perceived Prologue much like a feature analysis of what could be done. A great idea, I just didn’t know what to do with it exactly. Automattic improved the theme and published Prologue 2.0 a year later renaming the project into P2.

New requirements and internal communication

Today there are other business structures in web development than there were five years ago. Agencies employ people around the globe, through all continents and time zones, often times waiving physical local presence. Teams work decentralized and asynchronously which implies new requirements to fast ways of internal communication.

In his post “How P2 changed Automattic” Matt showed P2’s great impact on internal communication at his company. Thus being said, P2 is very easy: the front-end editor, a few keyboard shortcuts, notifications on new content without a page reload—that’s pretty much it. P2 combines classic functionalities of blogs and social networks, its usability is comprehensive and intuitive.

Globally working on a common project

Make WordPress is a network of development blogs using P2. In those blogs, information is gathered that has been discussed and decided upon in various places. There is room for questions and appendices, in short: they display the actual state of a given sub-project.


P2 at Inpsyde

At our agency there are several teams working on various projects, and each team have their P2 instance in a WordPress multisite environment. Other than Authenticator for privacy and Informer for notifications on new content, our team sites don’t use any further add-ons. We mostly communicate via Chat which is extended to a solid day-to-day basis by P2.

P2 helps us processing (and archiving) things like collections of ideas, internal announcements, minutes, link tips, votings, status updates and business reports. Content can be filtered perfectly via tagging. WordPress natively generates RSS feeds for tags, so our team members can subscribe to particular tags or even import those feeds into other software.

Intranet made easy and efficient

As easy as WordPress can be used in the public web, as efficiently it can serve as the foundation for internal corporate communication within a flexible Intranet. Based upon multisite it enables you to create almost infinite levels of access and topic. You can

  • embed multimedia content,
  • search and archive each instance of P2,
  • access the network via desktop, smartphone, tablet, e-mail or even jabber protocol,
  • read new posts and comments in the front-end without having to reload a page.
    • Scale and fit to your needs

      Through plugins and widgets P2 can be extended to your individual needs. It is suitable for practically all areas of web-based team collaboration.

      Communication is oxygen—meet O2

      Currently, P2 is given a new coat of paint so much so that its new iteration will come under a new name: O2.
      Concepionally O2 will be a plugin, not a theme. It is supposed to make it easy for developers to write their own extensions and themes for O2. If you want to stay on top of the news, make sure to subscribe to the official mailing list.

      Beau Lebens, leader of the O2 project team, has given a session on O2 at WordCamp San Francisco this year, providing interesting insight into the history of Prologue and P2 as well as the future and state of development of O2.

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