The 7 Weirdest and Wackiest Uses for WordPress

26 Sep
Joel Falconer via Mashable! shared by 8 people

Over the years, WordPress has consistently proven to be the most popular blogging system out there. Millions upon millions of blogs run on WordPress, and that’s not counting those that are hosted on, Automattic’s free, hosted blogging service.

But it’s not just a blogging platform; as many have discovered, it works really well as a fully-fledged content management system — it really comes down to how the theme is written, and often the plugins that are used.

Let’s take a look at some of the oddest uses people have come up with for a mere blogging platform.

WordPress, the Social Network

BuddyPress turns your vanilla WordPress MU installation into a basic social network — complete with private messaging, friends, groups, personal blogs and status updates.

WordPress, the Email Newsletter Manager

Some have gone as far as using WordPress to manage email newsletters—forget using it for building a website! The process is outlined here, but in short, you create a newsletter category, use some theme coding trickery to hide the category on the site, create an RSS feed from it and set it up with FeedBurner. Magic!

WordPress, the Word Processor

Are you one of those people who are queasy about Google having access to all your information? Myself, I’m not so worried about that—but I hate the Google Docs interface with a great deal of passion (to each his own, eh?). So much so that if I’m out and about without access to a desktop word processor I’ll simply fire up WordPress and do some writing in there.

And if you’re collaborating, the new revision histories allow you to reverse any bone-headed changes your collaborator makes. Because you’d never do that, right?

WordPress, the Workplace Chat Room

Back in January, Automattic (the company behind WordPress) released the Prologue theme. Prologue is inspired by Twitter and allows users to post status updates with tags.

Some companies have since used Prologue to help employees stay up to date with each other’s projects, which is important in virtual organizations where these things don’t always circulate naturally. More recently, people have been using it to start workstreaming sites — sites built, in essence, to convince your boss you’re actually working!

WordPress, the Contact Manager

Don’t like Address Book or the half-baked Google Contacts application? Turn WordPress into your personal contact manager with WP Contact Manager, or even a company intranet address book. You’re best off doing this on a private server or with authentication, of course, or you might find yourself running from a horde of rioters.

WP Contact Manager does have some advantages over regular desktop software. You can tag your contacts and search via tags (instead of the bulky “Groups” feature most apps use), and comments have been repurposed as user notes that you and others can leave for future reference, which seems better than the generic Notes capability in most contact managers.

WordPress, the Wiki

Heard of Blicki? I thought not. Automattic started developing this plugin years ago and suddenly stopped. It worked at some point, but when I tested it with the latest version of WordPress it didn’t do much.

But still, it’s a cool idea. Most wiki distributions don’t have the ease of installation and customization that WordPress has, which I’m sure you’ll know if you’ve ever set MediaWiki up and subsequently configured it. Hopefully, Automattic—or someone else entirely—will take this project up again in the future.

WordPress, the Task Manager

This list is about weird and wacky, and this is probably the craziest idea in the list, thanks to some deep and dark crevice within the mind of Dustin Wax: use WordPress as your task manager.

You can email or phone in posts as tasks throughout the day, which are then delivered to your inbox via FeedBurner at the end of each day. Once they’re in your inbox, you can use whatever processing system you’ve adopted to complete that tasks or process them into a task list.

As the man himself said, it’s a crazy idea when there are apps like Ta-da List and Remember the Milk out there, but it seems crazy is what WordPress is all about!

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