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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will host the first annual Plone Symposium Midwest on June 2 through June 9. The seven-day conference will focus on training, development, use, and application of Plone open source content management system (CMS).

Three days will be dedicated to training, with independent training opportunities taught by Plone experts and contributors. Following training, the Symposium will feature two engaging days of presentations and keynotes, with topics covering the benefits of Plone, developing add-on modules, themeing Plone sites, and more.

To close the Symposium, there will be three days of sprints, which are collaborative and self-organized work teams that give back to the Plone community by writing new code, fixing bugs, designing new themes and more.

Plone is an open source, feature-rich CMS with a vibrant developer, user and consulter community around the world. Plone has been in widespread use since 2001.

The Symposium has moved to the Midwest from Penn State University, and symposium planning committee leader Kim Nguyen says he hopes to continue the record of success.

“We didn’t want to mess with the formula,” Nguyen said, “Though we did add some things to the event, including Plone 101, leadership training and the pre-Symposium sprint.”

The move to Oshkosh, Nguyen said, was a logical one, as the University has become a showcase among educational institutions for the breadth and success of its Plone implementation.

“We have almost 300 Plone sites on campus. Other institutions look to UW Oshkosh’s site provisioning, standardized themeing, workflow application design tools, and best practices,” Nguyen said.

Extending Plone to new users

As an open source CMS, Plone relies on users to improve, develop and write new programs. As a community, Plone users are highly dedicated to sharing knowledge, skills and ideas for the management system. One of the new goals at this Symposium is to expand the community though a Plone 101 training course. 

Plone 101, which will be held June 4 on the UW Oshkosh campus, is for new Plone users or individuals who want more information about it. Participants don’t have to have any experience with Plone. Topics that will be covered include a basic introduction to CMS, time and money saving solutions through Plone, the benefits of building a website using Plone and more.

Plone 101 is a separate fee from the conference, and participants do not need to participate in the larger Symposium to attend Plone 101.

Open source as a tool for collaboration

Nguyen says that one of the reasons past symposiums have been so successful is because the Plone community is dedicated to collaboration that leads to improvements in the CMS.

“Contributing to an open source project fits the mission of our University beautifully,” Nguyen said. “We showcase our ability to innovate and drive economic growth regionally, nationally and internationally.”

According to Nguyen, Plone is one of the largest open source projects with the widest contributor base. Participants will leave the Symposium with tools, resources and new ideas for applying new themes, workflows and content management options.

For more information on training, session or sprint topics, or to register for the Symposium, visit