There are many social networking sites around which you can join. But if you want to start one on your own for a select group of individuals, you can make one yourself and the only thing you will need is open source software.
Open source software for social networking is free. It can be downloaded into your computer and then set up in a matter of days or weeks. To help you get started, here are some of examples which you can try out.
Pligg is an open source content management system. Its features include individual profiles, multiple authors, article rating, private messaging, advanced comment system, RSS feeds as well as the ability to import it as new articles, module system, smarty templates, spell check, support for multiple languages, live Ajax newsfeed and a URL blocklist. For you to use this, you will need PHP and MySQL.
Next is NewsCloud and from the name itself, you can already tell what it does and that is giving you the news. It does not always have to be about current events happening around the world but other matters which revolve around your life which you choose to write about. You can even join discussions with other readers.
What distinguishes Drupal from the other content management systems around is that members get to vote on the articles posted there. It supports a wide variety of websites ranging from corporate brochures, community driven websites and personal blogs.
Dating sites have also used open source software for social networking and one example is Dolphin by Boonex. This program has been around for 6 years, used by more than 20,000 websites and has over 100,000 downloads. Those who made it say that it can do just about anything and the only limitation is in your imagination.
Most of the open source software programs for social networking so far are free. One that charges is PHPizabi but that there are still people willing to use it. Some of its features include being able to access it through your desktop, communicating with friends in the chat room and maintaining a contact system.
From dating, we move on education and one open source social networking program used by universities worldwide is Elgg. The reason why they use it is because members get to create their own profile and customize it to their own preferences. It also has comprehensive administration tools and applications so you can store files and create or participate in a forum.
Mugshot allows members to post pictures, music and videos. The designers are proud to say that while majority of the open source social networking programs are open source for only the client, theirs is also for the server. You can get updates from other sites and upload it here by choosing the web version or the downloaded version.
As you can see, there are many open source software for social networking. You might think why create one when you can use one of the more popular ones like MySpace, YouTube or Linkendin and the best answer to give is that it is yours. Surely you have seen some flaws in many social networking sites and wish they could improve. Instead of wishing and praying, you could take action on your own and maybe become better than them in the future.