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WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic is today launching a team communication and collaboration product that has served as the “foundation of Automattic’s distributed work model” for more than a decade.
Wordpress P2 Review
Automattic invested in telecommuting long before working from home became the new normal for a pandemic-ravaged global workforce. Since its inception in 2005, Automattic has focused on remote working, and today its products give more than 1,200 employees in 77 countries full autonomy to work from wherever they please. But this level of distribution requires the right tools and technologies to ensure workers can collaborate across borders and time zones, which is why Automattic has relied on third-party products, such as Slack and Zoom.
However, the company has increasingly used its decade-plus distributed workforce experience to develop its own tools, including a productivity suite called Happy Tools that it now sells to businesses for $5 per month. Automattic also created a platform called P2, which it has used internally for more than a decade as a blog-style conversation conduit for asynchronous communications.
Since 2008, P2 has also been available as a theme anyone can integrate into their blogs, but this option hasn’t been updated in over four years.
Anyone can create a threaded discussion around the latest company products, new projects on the horizon, team outings, and everything in between.
P2s can be set up for private internal team discussions or open conversations with customers and partners. Users can easily switch between P2s from within their WordPress.com account — each P2 has its own unique URL, similar to any standard WordPress.com blog.
Above: Automattic’s P2: Switching between P2 sites
The launch was largely driven by the sudden global shift to remote work, according to Automattic, which said it has seen “an influx of interest in its distributed work best practices” in the past few months.
There’s no shortage of team collaboration tools out there, of course, with the likes of Slack and Microsoft Teams already used by millions around the world. P2 is built with the distributed workforce in mind and focuses on asynchronous communication that enables teams to work together across time zones. Like Slack, it can also be used for real-time communications, as it supports messaging and @mentions and users can receive alerts and notifications if someone tags them in a post. So what sets it apart from the crowd?
Wordpress P2 Pricing
P2 is essentially built as a companion platform to real-time communication tools like Slack. It’s designed to house longer-form discussions that are not as time-sensitive, leaving the other real-time platforms to handle the day-to-day office chatter.
“Slack tends to be noisy, with lots of watercooler conversations mixed in with weighty topics,” explained Jon Burke, who led the P2 product launch for Automattic. “As a result, it can be tough to find something you need using search or scroll back. P2 is where we show our work and often is where routines happen and decisions are made. For example, every team posts regular Thursday updates and important HR policy updates, product release documentation, and other key updates are shared in P2. An important HR update could easily be overlooked in Slack.”
Moreover, P2 is an open platform built on WordPress, so content can be easily exported for use anywhere else. And because P2 is built on WordPress, its look and feel is very different from most enterprise-focused collaboration tools — it’s more visually appealing, like a blog. This also means P2 can be used by any “team” out there, including sports clubs, schools, or families to organize holidays or weddings.
P2 is available now in open beta for anyone to use, and Automattic plans to keep the platform free for everyone — however, it will be adding premium options in the future. The existing P2 theme will also still be supported for those who use it.
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At Automattic, P2 is one of the main tools we use for asynchronous communication. An integral part of our workflow, it is the place where we share, discuss, brainstorm, and collaborate. We are now excited to announce that designers can embed their Figma files and prototypes directly into a P2 post for the entire team to see, and effectively move their work along.
Figma — one of the most popular and fastest growing digital design tools today — was recently voted “the most exciting design tool of 2021.”
In many organizations, a smaller group — often the design team — uses Figma on a daily basis. But designers need a seamless way to share their work and gather feedback from other disciplines across the organization. Enter P2. P2 is a product powered by WordPress.com that boosts remote, asynchronous team collaboration. With P2, team members can share ideas, collect feedback, and assign tasks to one another.
Wordpress P2 Theme
We can now embed Figma files on P2 and get contextual feedback from everyone, creating a more inclusive environment, and eliminating the need for others to learn and navigate design-specific software.
Sharing Figma files on P2 allows our teams to review designs and comment where everyone collaborates. It integrates all work in a single spot, helping track project progress. As we iterate in Figma, files will magically sync on P2. No more messy screen grabs or wondering which Figma file is the most up-to-date. P2 is fully searchable for future reference too!
Want to know more about how P2 can help improve communication and collaboration on your teams? Check out a demo. You can also create your own P2 here and take it for a spin. Any questions? Feel free to comment on the demo P2.
Like what you see? Then maybe you’d love working here. We’re looking for great designers to help us meet bold growth and quality goals. We’re a small, fully distributed company with a huge footprint, helping people express themselves and earn a living—and our mission is more vital than ever. Join our team of diverse, global perspectives building a better web, and connect your career to the power of Open Source.