Semiologic Theme: WordPress as a CMS that much closer

Once again, Mario A. Nuñez-Molina is fueling this blog and I can’t thank him enough. He recently turned me on to the Semiologic theme for WordPress -designed by Denis de Bernardy- which really pushes the possibilities for thinking about a blogging platform beyond the often conceptually limiting logic of the blog. If you take Dennis’s excellent theme, customize a skin (see more on this at the Semiologic site here) and integrate it with the divShare uploader -the implications are kinda radical!

Why? Well, because between these two plugins you begin to get closer and closer to a distributed and flexible CMS that can scale to an enterprise-level using an application like WordPress Multi-User. How so? Well, divShare offers you a free and simple file management system that integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and the Semiologic theme (like the K2 theme) offers you a presentation package that builds in the possibility for a whole host of simple customizations for the look and feel of your site. Unlike K2, however, the Semiologic theme has built in a series of skins that sit on top of it allowing you to choose from one of several or create your own customized skin by building on the CSS of a blank skin provided. So, in other words, you can re-skin your theme, making the theme not so much about the design or aesthetics (as most themes are) as it is focused on affording the ability to do more with the presentation elements of the site -such as side bars, font style, font size, fixed or flexible width, customized captions search engine optimization, customized header, customized page navigation 🙂 , customized page elements, various page templates for different content, etc. (you can read about all of these goodies and more here).

What impresses me most about this whole thing is that as we push further with WPMU as a blogging platform at the University of Mary Washington -it is quickly becoming apparent that we could just as well be thinking about this tool as a distributed Content Management System for the University more generally. With an simple, customizable, and highly functional theme like Semiologic along with a file management solution like that offered by divShare -two of the most important elements of content management are taken care of. All we need to do at UMW is customize a skin for this theme and give it a whirl. I plan on playing with this at length shortly. If you are interested in seeing a Semiologic theme in action, I have set one up here, and you can login using the following name and password to play around with the presentation options:

login: testuser
pw: semiologic

Have fun!

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7 Responses to Semiologic Theme: WordPress as a CMS that much closer

  1. Pingback: Semiologic Test » Semiologic Theme: Wordpress as a CMS that much closer

  2. Thanks for valueing my recommendation of the Semiologic Theme. As yuo have explained very well, it is avery versatile and flexible theme.

  3. Brian says:

    The hits keep coming. Thanks for this!

  4. so… the excitement is about some hacks for WordPress that let it kinda sorta approximate some features of Drupal? You know there’s a pretty cool CMS out there that already has these features… *cough*Drupal*ahem*…

  5. Rick Swerve says:

    Jim,

    Sorry for the slow reply. Anyway, thought I’d email you instead of chatting in the comments section, but couldn’t find an address on the site. So why don’t you send me an email at rick.swerve@gmail.com, and we’ll get you hooked up.

  6. jimgroom says:

    @D’Arcy

    I even took a picture of you WORDPRESS blog on an iPhone, and this is the love I get? Well, have it your way, smart guy. Here’s coming back at you -how do you populate new sites in Drupal throughout the campus? Oh yeah, that’s right you need a little tool called the “provisionator” that I commend you for creating, but wouldn’t it be so nice to just allow folks to quickly and easily create sites on the fly that they can simply manage (nuts to bolts) and allow professors to take ownership of their web presence so that creative commons quickly becomes an issues of critical mass. Drupal is fine if you want hand holding and walking in straight lines one behind the other. But that’s is not my vision, what I’m talking about here is freedom, baby! I’m talking about the wind in your hair, the sun shining on your face, and a plugin for every occasion -can you dig it!!! WordPress for all my friends. Drupal for all my enemies.

    Your resistance is futile!

  7. Pingback: Blog Roundup for the 10th of July 2007 :: Christopher Ross

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