Just today, Matt Mullenweg, founding developer and owner of Automattic, announced a new, open source, theme for WordPress called Prologue. The theme essentially turns your blog into a “mini-Twitter”, with a “Whatcha up to?” text box at the top where your users can post what they are currently doing. This is an excellent way to build community on a site, just for your own users – it will be interesting, as cell phone networks open up, to see if there will be ways to integrate “mini-communities” such as this onto users’ cell phones. I also anticipate someone writing some sort of Twitter plugin that integrates with this theme, and I’d love to figure out a way to use this theme in conjunction with my current theme so I can add this as a link to my current blog.
The theme has been released as Open Source, completely free, under the GPL. The release of this reminds me very much of Google’s OpenSocial initiative, of which they are releasing platform code, very similar to the way Facebook’s platform works (Facebook is a very closed platform currently), for anyone and everyone to load onto their own blogs as they wish. Basically, you can “create your own Twitter” with this code they are releasing!
Joseph Scott, a very good friend of mine, was one of the writers of this and he’s going to give me a demo this Thursday – I’ll post a video of it when I’m done (unless someone wants to buy me an N95, which I’ll post live via Qik.com!). Matt Mullenweg will also be in town this Saturday and meeting with local bloggers and social media advocates – if I can make it work, I may try some video of that as well.