I was excited with the release of WordPress 3.1 which added the Post Formats feature. This provides the ability to create themes for customized display of content based on new types of content that you create. Sure there were hacks to do this before, but now that it’s supported natively there will be many new themes coming out to support it and make it easy.

The cool thing about Post Formats is the content types lend themselves very nicely to Lifestreaming. This is something that Tumblr users have been enjoying for a long time and the WordPress folks have definitely noticed this distinction and now have an answer for it.

Here’s the breakdown from the WordPress site:

  • aside – Typically styled without a title. Similar to a Facebook note update.
  • gallery – A gallery of images. Post will likely contain a gallery shortcode and will have image attachments.
  • link – A link to another site. Themes may wish to use the first <a href=””> tag in the post content as the external link for that post. An alternative approach could be if the post consists only of a URL, then that will be the URL and the title (post_title) will be the name attached to the anchor for it.
  • image – A single image. The first <img /> tag in the post could be considered the image. Alternatively, if the post consists only of a URL, that will be the image URL and the title of the post (post_title) will be the title attribute for the image.
  • quote – A quotation. Probably will contain a blockquote holding the quote content. Alternatively, the quote may be just the content, with the source/author being the title.
  • status – A short status update, similar to a Twitter status update.
  • video – A single video. The first <video /> tag or object/embed in the post content could be considered the video. Alternatively, if the post consists only of a URL, that will be the video URL. May also contain the video as an attachment to the post, if video support is enabled on the blog (like via a plugin).
  • audio – An audio file. Could be used for Podcasting.
  • chat – A chat transcript.

As you can see these custom post types are perfect for segregating your content. I’ve been keeping my eye out for new themes that take advantage of this new feature but they’ve been hard to find. I just recently heard about a new one called Tapestry over at WordPress.com that is actually a child theme built on the very popular Genesis framework. This theme does cost $79.95 but has many great features beyond simply supporting Post Formats. You can view a live demo here and visit the main page here. If you aren’t familiar with WordPress’ new Post Formats feature you should definitely check it out.

If you know of any other themes out there that support post formats please share them in the comments so I can update this post.

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