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Group WordPress Project: A Personal Branding Theme

posted by Matt Ward on Nov 13, 2010.

Based on the various comments that were left about determining the overall purpose of the Group WordPress Project theme, it seems that some sort of social media solution is the direction we’re going. So, in this post, we’ll look at the fundamental functionality that I propose for creating a personal branding theme. You’ll also get the chance to vote on one of six potential names.

This is the third post in what will likely prove to be the lengthy process of our Group WordPress Project. Thanks to everyone who left their thoughts and ideas on the last post, in which we were looking to establish the overall purpose of the site. A lot of the comments were pretty varied. Some people were looking for a portfolio-based theme, while others all but pleaded for the theme to not be portfolio based.

The one thing that I saw the most was the idea of having a social networking/interaction based site, which actually surprised me a little bit. I thought that an ecommerce shop or an online magazine theme would have been the clear winner, but it looks like you guys want something that really pulls together the whole social media thing. That’s an interesting idea and, I must admit, somewhat of a daunting challenge.

But, since I also don’t want to ostracize those individuals who may be looking for something else, what I am going to propose is a sort of personal branding theme with a high degree of flexibility, where:

  • There exists a central hub, which functions as an aggregator of activity from a number of different social media outlets and anything that you actually post to WordPress itself (organized with custom taxonomies) with the option to have these displayed as separate entities or as a one, continuous stream.
  • Some built in social networks would include:
    • Twitter
    • Flickr
    • YouTube
    • Digg
    • StumbleUpon
    • Dribbble
    • Possibly Facebook
    • Others? Suggestions open
  • For maximum flexibility, it would be ideal to be provide a structure for individuals using the theme to also include other networks, since it would simply be impossible to include every conceivable network as a default in the theme itself
  • In addition to aggregating social activity, however, the theme would also have the ability to support extended sections, including a basic portfolio, a simple ecommerce shop and a blog (magazine or personal). Moreover, these sections would be optional, and could be turned either on or off through an options panel.
  • In addition to the various customization that we see above, the theme will also allow users to customize
    • Layout
    • Colours
    • Type

How does that sound to everyone? Obviously, there will probably be a few other little bits of goodness, but that should sum up the basic purpose that will drive the functionality of the theme. Anything I missed?

The next step for me will be to take all of this (and any extra suggestions), pool it all together and start developing an overall structure for how the theme will actually fit together. In the next post, I will probably talk a bit about how I approach that kind of work.

In the meantime, we have one more little bit of business to take care of—the name! There were all kinds of great suggestions, but the one thing that I saw coming through the most in your comments was that notion that the name of this theme should somehow correlate to the name Echo Enduring. I like that idea! So, I collected four of my favorite EE-related name suggestions, and then added a couple of my own ideas. Here they are:

  • Enduring Discourse
  • Echoes United
  • Echo Interactive
  • Echo Entourage
  • Echonic
  • Echunity

Personally, I really like the name Echonic. It fits in with the branding, and is nice, short and punchy. What about you guys? Which one is your favorite?

Well that’s it for this post. Don’t forget to cast your vote for the name, and feel free to leave a comment or idea as I work on creating an overall flow for how the theme will all fit together. Hope to have that done over the next couple weeks so check back soon!

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Also from Echo Enduring Media:

An Unfolding Tale

About the Author

Matt Ward is a digital artist who lances freely under the moniker of Echo Enduring Media, and specializes in graphics design, illustration and writing. He is also the Creative Director for Highland Marketing, a creative direct marketing company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. You can follow Matt on Twitter

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Nov 13, 2010

Sir Emeth says:

I like Echonic the best too, I think.

I like the synopsis! It is a very good idea, and well worth creating. I am getting excited about this project. :)

You definitely have to include Buzz. No question about it, that needs to be there. Haha.

Nov 13, 2010

Kevin says:

This project is sounding great. I like the name ‘Enduring(instead of Echo) Interactive’.

Nov 13, 2010

Marc says:

Sounds like a helluva undertaking. This project could prove to be very educational as it continues.

I’m looking forward to the progress, and happy to see that this may end up being one of the most flexible themes ever built.

Echonic is my favourite for a name, hands down.

Cheers, and I’m looking forward to the next post.

Nov 13, 2010

Rox says:

Your plan sounds good and I can’t wait to see how you decide the overall structure.

I like how Echonic sounds and I think it would be a great name for the theme.

Nov 13, 2010

Zaid Pirwani says:

I hope this theme comes with proper commented code and descriptions and some sort of documentation so aspiring developers and students like me can benefit from it and hack it change it the way we like….

BTW; tab is not changing focus this text box to the name field… so non-user-friendly

Nov 13, 2010

Allan Mullan says:

I second the name Echonic, very cool!

I personally liked the idea of a Social Networking site also but I like the concept that you’ve come up with too, makes it very flexible – will be good to see how everything works in the end.

Nov 13, 2010

Roger says:

I would drop the ecommerce bit. A simple shop would suite very few people. I would suggest keeping this as a separate project that would easily fit to your otherwise awesome plan. Maybe have this function as a premium upgrade???

Either way, good luck!

Edit- you might want to add some support for a Vanilla forum

Nov 13, 2010

Eric says:

Wow. This is going to be one all encompassing wordpress theme. I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to work together.

Since the theme is going to include so much and offer at least a little of what everyone wanted to see, I think that “Echonic” is the perfect name.

Nov 14, 2010

George E. says:

Wow! I am blown away by the size that this project has turned out to be and loving it.

As for the name I think I’m going to agree with you and others, Echonic! I like how it’s punchy and short.

I am looking forward to seeing how powerful WordPress can be for things other than blogs.

Nov 14, 2010

Athmane says:

The project sounds great and well planed!
I will go for Echonic short cute with character!

Nov 15, 2010

Yusuf says:

The project is so great keep it going

Nov 15, 2010

Michael La Plante says:

I would go with Echonic or Echo Interactive.

Looking forward to really seeing how this idea is going to flesh out. I like the idea of being able to incorporate more networks than come out of the box.

Looking forward to the next post Matt.

Nov 15, 2010

dave says:

Great project, great name, cant wait for the final product. The name Echonic is really strong!

Nov 15, 2010

Katie McElroy says:

This project is really shaping up! It sounds great. As for the name, I’m still partial to Echo Entourage (weakness for alliteration) but Echonic is a great name and I love its simplicity.

Nov 16, 2010

3emeOeil says:

Hi, the project sounds great, i can’t wait to see what’s going to happen with this extra modulable theme.
Echonic gets my vote too, short and clean. Perfect

Nov 16, 2010

Philippe Alves says:

I can see the project is looking good and represent quite a job (not impossible though). As for the name, I would go for Echonic but Echo Interactive has its share too.

Thumbs up! Cheers!

Nov 19, 2010

Kristina McInerny says:

I vote for Echonic – sound like ‘Iconic’ yet with your brand. It also creates a shorter folder name; I usually create child themes and append the original name with -child

This is HUGE!! Carry on the good work! I’m inspired to try crowdsourcing – you really get an inspired, intelligent field study by those who give a hoot.

Nov 26, 2010

baloot says:

can’t wait to see the design for this personal branding theme. wordpress is the best platform for creating website, easy and dynamically. :)

Feb 12, 2011

L1 says:

What’s happened to this? any updates?

Feb 13, 2011

Matt Ward says:

Still plan to move forward with this. Bogged down on a few other things at the moment.

Nov 24, 2011

Open Source Development says:

the project is great…. it is also very informative and useful for us…

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