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Which themes work best for a group of users?

  1. How can find themes that lend themselves to being used by a group traveling abroad, with at least one of the participants posting a summary of the day with photos every day? The names of the authors should be visible. I came across one that might work but I would like to see other designs.

    The blog I need help with is susannecannon.wordpress.com.

  2. I would suggest you check out P2, which is designed for collaborative ventures, and is sort of patterned after twitter, but without the character limit. You can post directly from the front page (when logged in) and make a short update sort of thing, or you can do a complete blog post by clicking the "blog post" button.

  3. If you could spell out exactly what you're looking for, we could give you a better idea. Photoblogging? Personalized posts? What do you need?

  4. You can also email in your Posts. Not sure what that would be for formatting with a lot of pictures.

    Windows Live Writer (and several others) will let you put the Post together on your PC the just click "Post" and it logs into your site and uploads the Post.

  5. I was going to suggest P2 as well. There's also Prologue and it's a group blog theme for short update messages, inspired by Twitter.

  6. The one I have found that seems best was one my nephew and his study group used this summer. Here it is ukstudyabroad.wordpress.com. The theme is Ocean Mist. I set up a draft for my group here using the same theme: susannecannon.wordpress.com.
    The idea is that every day I expect a student or two to submit a summary of our corporate and site visits in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, probably with a photo or two. It is possible, but not too likely, that others (family members back home, for example) will want to comment on what they see. But mostly I think this is a way to have the 16 students and faculty reflect on their meetings and to post their summaries for their contacts to see. I had just hoped that there might be other themes (colors, typefaces, etc.) to look at that accomplish the same things that the ukstudyabroad group did.

  7. Ocean Mist is a really beginner-friendly theme. I teach WP, and a good 40% of my students choose that one as their theme, although I do think the pretty picture at the top is part of its attraction. It does have pretty standard functionality.

  8. I was just trying to help set up a group blog for a baking group and was trying out P2. Who would I ask about some things that I don't understand on how it is supposed to work? Is this the right place or should I contact 24/7 support? thanks Joanna

  9. These are the points that are bothering me....in P2
    Am I right that if you post directly from the front page you can't upload images, but can only do that when you write a proper post? I tried for quite a long time last night to do that and concluded that was the case. Also when you edit the theme and the widgets there are two extra sidebars called top sidebar and bottom sidebar but nothing seems to happen with those. Excuse me if these are stupid questions...

  10. @zebathome -- First, you're questions are not stupid. :) Second, to your points:

    Image uploading: It's not exactly intuitive, but it should work. You can click the small icons to the right of the post area to upload media. The trick is inserting the image into the post. A bug in P2 exists where the "Insert to Post" button is missing after you upload the image. To get around this: after the upload (while still in the upload window) you can click Media Gallery, then Show, then Insert to Post.

    Sidebars: the "top" and "bottom" sidebars are extraneous and not used in the theme. We plan to remove those widget areas soon to avoid confusion.

  11. Also note:

    You can't insert images from URLs on the front page. (you can do it dashboard —> edit post)

    After you make a post, you can edit it to add more pictures, but not directly. Click insert image button, choose a picture from the media library (or upload then choose media library as lance described), and insert it. The html for the new picture will appear in the new post window at the top. Copy all of the code, then place your cursor where you want the new picture to be and paste the code there. Save. Click on the blog title to navigate away from the code in the new post. Whew!!

  12. Thanks for the replies but I am a bit puzzled now - are you
    saying two different things here... ? Lance is saying that there is a bug but it has a work around, which is sort of what I thought, otherwise why would you put the icons on the front page if they aren't supposed to work.... and 1tess is saying that you can't insert images at all on the front page is that right?

    We are aiming to use this for a run up to an event exchange of information blog and I don't know if all the users will understand this. Is the other group blog theme more picture friendly, I think it is called Prologue. Thanks again Joanna

  13. I just tried your work around and it doesn't work Lance. The insert to Post is visible, you click on it and the window just goes blank and nothing happens.

  14. @zebathome
    Please excuse me for entering this discussion but I do have a suggestion to make that I think may be helpful.

    I believe that we learn best by doing and that every blogger needs a test blog. :) in this case I would like to encourage you to register another blog as a test blog and set it to "private". By using the information Staff and Volunteers provide and experimenting with P2 and Proloue there you will be able to see which theme best accomplishes what you want it to.

    It's easy to register another blog and you can use it to test everything you may consider using on your main blog first in it without disrupting your readers. If you wish to do this when you are logged into wordpress.com point your browser to http://wordpress.com/signup to register your new blog.

  15. It looks to me as if all the editing and picture/url inserting has to be done via dashboard. The front page part looks like it just takes text and it is a bit buggy isn't it? I don't know if my lot will cope with it. Can you suggest another theme which might work with multiple authors better?

  16. Hi Timethief, that is exactly what I have done, made a private dummy blog, I thought it was going to work at frist and I have made a second one and put the people who are going to 'own it' on as administrators, but I feel like a bit of a twit if it doesn't work easily as they haven't blogged before. Thanks :)

  17. I also don't understand the function of the Link, and Quote buttons at the top of the front page. What exactly are they supposed to do, if anything. You click Quote and an extra box appears saying Citation. Is there a faq for this theme anywhere that I can read without bothering you guys?

  18. I've worked out the Quote one now, but not the Link button. I see you have taken off those sidebars that didn't do anything - that's great!

  19. @zebathome

    The closest thing we have to an FAQ is http://p2theme.com/ -- documentation for themes is area that we know needs work. :)

    The Status, Blog Post, Quote, and Link are different types of posts. When you click the various types you'll see how the input fields change; Link is designed to share a link to something interesting. They are also styled a bit differently: Status won't show the post title, whereas Blog Post does. Quote styles the post a bit differently. Now that I look at it, Link acts much like Status.

    Here is a site you can play with: http://p2demo.wordpress.com/ if you don't want to set up your own.

    I just tried an image upload there (using the steps I detailed earlier), and it worked. If you get a blank page, that could be a browser bug -- could you tell us what browser version you use?

    Overall P2 is a great theme, and very nice for quick updates. As with all our themes, we will continue to improve it and make it better... so thanks for the feedback.

  20. Is there a faq for this theme anywhere that I can read without bothering you guys?

    No I'm sorry there isn't. :(

  21. I'm using Firefox 3.6.8 on an Imac. I have retried several times to use your workaround Lance and it really didn't work. Maybe it's my browser like you say. Sorry :(

    I like the idea of the theme too, I like its simplicity. Thanks for trying to sort it out all :)

  22. You see why I hate P2?

    It's terrific for linear thinkers who are sharing typing. It's a decent replacement for a forum. Otherwise? Not so much.

    And it's not a good reader experience, either.

  23. I hate it also - yuck!

  24. I don't know if we are 'linear thinkers sharing typing,' more a bunch of people with a shared hobby, varied backgrounds and levels of education and computer knowledge thinking that this might be useful to us. The live update feature is really neat and I like the democratic way you can have everyone as authors.

    I was simply looking for a way for 12 or so folk to communicate quickly, in real time, for a few weeks leading up to a shared event, rather than use round robin emails and so on. This looked on the surface like a plausible solution for our specific needs, a democratic group space, not a forum run by anyone in particular, low admin once up and running, no moderation much required etc etc. This theme, or even wordpress itself may not be it, but it was worth a try and we may use it anyway as time is short. I wouldn't swap my main blog to this, but then that's not what I was looking to do.

  25. @zebathome

    Just to clarify I was adding to what lance said, not saying the workaround for the bug dosen't work.

    1. I was pointing out that you can't use Flkr for your pictures on P2: they must be uploaded to the library.

    2. Adding more than one picture to a post is rather complicated, involving pasting html code…

  26. The workaround doesn't work on the front page for me, but it's easy to post more than one image into a dashboard generated post in P2. I used a photobucket link for one trial and a direct upload to the library for the other. Worked fine. I didn't need to go into code, and in fact I cut and pasted a whole email with links to You Tube videos into a post and they are all embedded nicely in the post much to my surprise, which is why I thought this had potential!

  27. I just went back to the test blog and put a flickr link in to a quick press post and it works ok... came out a bit small but the image is there....

  28. Ah, yes, linked images will work in the dashboard. And posting from the dashboard is just the same as it is in any other theme. You can upload or link to as many pictures as you like. In the dashboard.

    The workaround and the exceptions only apply to posting directly to the front page.

    If members of your group understand that they should post from the dashboard, and not from the front page, then they should not have problems using P2 and adding pictures.

    It is the front page which has the bug (and the workaround should work, or perhaps it is as lance suggested: that it is an issue with the browser you are using). It is the front page only where you can't add images to a post via url link.

  29. Thanks 1tess! I'll pass this all on and we'll see how it goes, maybe one day someone will fix the bugs and or make a better group blog theme, in the meantime I am grateful as always for wordpress's existence!

  30. Hi Lance et al, this is one of the first places I found for P2 support so here goes-- does anyone know if the following will be supported in P2:

    (1) adding/selecting "categories" (not just tags) to a front page Blog post (looks like categories can only be added in dashboard?),

    (2) editing tags, images, etc once a front-page Blog post is made-- currently, it doesn't seem like I can edit a post from P2 once I submit (I have to go back into the dashboard)

    We're also looking to make a collaborative group blog and P2 is *almost* there! But the above the features-- or lack thereof-- makes it almost unsuitable. Problem is that I can't seem to find another theme that does group collab even close without going back to Drupal etc.

    thx KV

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