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Josie Fraser :: Blog :: Open Source Social Software

July 25, 2008


This week, a bunch of us from the Emerge project were invited to contribute to the OSS Watch expert workshop on profiling communities. I was asked to present, and as part of my talk looked at the current state of Open Source social networking platforms and tools. I'm hoping to follow up with an evaluation matrix of the platforms, but in the meantime, I'm happy to pass on brief details of the sites and services I looked at. This isn't an exhaustive list by any means - I'm happy to report that there is plenty of choice if you are looking to invest time, energy and resources in using open source tools. This list represents  examples of what's currently available & is not an endorsement of any particular product or company :)

Open Source Social Networking Platforms

All in one solutions for community hosting, providing user profiles, tools sets & supporting collaborative activity. 

AROUNDMe  http://www.barnraiser.org/ -
Developed by Barnraiser a Swedish based registered not-for-profit organisation. AROUNDMe is suite of three social tools, designed to help users create their own OpenID-based services and tools for individuals and groups.

Elgg  http://elgg.org/
Social networking engine Elgg coming soon in two flavors - Classic Elgg and the soon to be released Elgg 1.0. Elgg, developed by the UK-based company Curverider.

Dolphin 6.1 http://www.boonex.com/products/dolphin/
One of a suite of tools from Australian based company BoonEx, who offer hosted options. A test platform is available at http://www.boonex.us/

Insoshi http://portal.insoshi.com/
US-based Michael Hartl and Long Nguyen's company, project and product Inoshi. The Insoshi open-source social networking platform grew out of RailsSpace.

LovdbyLess http://lovdbyless.com/
Like Insoshi, Lovdbyess is built with ruby on rails, by US-based developer team Less Everything, to provide a free, open source basic social network  platform that additional specific functionality can be added to.

Mahara http://www.mahara.org/
E-portfolio social networking software developed for the education community, and including a résumé builder/digital CV. The Mahara project is based in New Zealand, with partner organisations in Japan and the UK.

Open Source Social News

Stand alone and built to work with existing content management platforms, these tools allow users to share content published online, and comment on there own or others contributions.

Drupaligg http://drupaligg.com
A Digg clone built over Drupal

Newscloud http://www.newscloud.com
Newscloud is an OS Media Platform, designed to support communities around news and discussion. Information about downloading and developing can be found here.

Pligg http://www.pligg.com/
An OS content management system providing an interactive website for users to submit, vote and discuss web-based content.

Open Source Social Bookmarking

GetBoo http://www.getboo.com/
Scuttle http://sourceforge.net/projects/scuttle/
Unalog http://unalog.com

Open Source Video Sharing

Plumi http://plumi.org
Showinabox http://showinabox.tv/ For creating WordPress video blogs
FilmForge http://filmforge.koumbit.net/ Video for Drupal

Open Source Microblogging

Identi.ca http://identi.ca/ Open Source federated microblogging
Laconica http://laconi.ca/

Open Source Virtual Worlds

OpenSource Metaverse Project http://metaverse.sourceforge.net/
Croquet http://www.opencroquet.org/
NMC Open Virtual Worlds Project http://www.nmc.org/news/nmc/nmc-launches-open-virtual-worlds-project Extension of Sun Microsystems’s open source Project Darkstar and Project Wonderland

Open Source Lifestreaming

Mugshot http://mugshot.org/main
Sweetcron http://www.sweetcron.com/
SimpleLife http://kierandelaney.net/blog/projects/simplelife/

& many more at: http://lifestreamblog.com/create/

Projects to watch/Upcoming 

Buddy Press http://buddypress.org/ Open Source project creating plug-ins to turn Wordpress Multi-User into a social network platform.

Identi.ca http://identi.ca/ Open Source federated microblogging

SocialLearn http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/socialearn/index.php The Open University's project is already picking up fans, and leaning towards OS. Fingers crossed.

Wikia’s Social Profile extension for Mediawiki http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:SocialProfile adding social elements including profile pages and friending to the popular wiki software


Overview for Keywords: communities, Drupal, federated services, FLOSS, lifestreaming, MediaWiki, microblogging, MUVEs, open source, Open University, OS, OSS Watch, platforms, social bookmarking, social media, social news, social software, tools, video, virtual worlds, WordPress

Blogs with Keywords: communities, Drupal, federated services, FLOSS, lifestreaming, MediaWiki, microblogging, MUVEs, open source, Open University, OS, OSS Watch, platforms, social bookmarking, social media, social news, social software, tools, video, virtual worlds, WordPress

Posted by Josie Fraser


  1. Thanks for this great resource Josie - tagged it.

    Frances BellFrances Bell on Saturday, 26 July 2008, 16:06 BST # |

  2. np Frances - check in with the origional post over at SocialTech for updates:



    Josie FraserJosie Fraser on Monday, 28 July 2008, 18:31 BST # |

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