Many of those starting online communities and social networks find themselves blindly choosing between various content management systems based on developer recommendations. I spotted a recent report on four principal ones, and thought it would provide useful background and detail.
4 Open Source Social Network Software
In March 2009, Idealware, a nonprofit serving nonprofits, produced Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Plone. It’s free in exchange for your email. The report is designed for those building medium-sized websites, not those planning to spent $100,000 or get hundreds of thousands of visitors a day. It’s 47 pages long, followed by 16 pages of consultant and software ads. Report contents are:
What is An Open Source Content Management System? What Other Content Management Systems are Available? How Do These Systems Compare?
Ease of Hosting and Installation Ease of Setting Up a Simple Site Ease of Learning to Configure a More Complex Site Graphical Flexibility Structural Flexibility Content Administrator Ease of Use User Roles and Workflow Community/Web 2.0 Functionality Extending and Integrating
The Comparison Chart Recommendations Methodology
Social Networking Capabilities
In comparing Web 2.0/Community functionality, the report concludes:
Drupal was designed from the ground up to be a community platform. It shines in this area, offering profiles, blogs and comments out of the box, with enhancements available through add-on modules. WordPress is, at heart, a blogging platform, and so has many blogging and comment features, but not robust support for more advanced functionality in this area. Joomla and Plone offer fewer community features, but a number of add-on modules provide some support.
The report concludes: “If your needs aren’t very complex—that is, if you’re planning to hire someone to build you a site that’s less than several hundred pages, is generally hierarchically arranged and will be updated by only a handful of people in your organization—any of these systems will work fine.”
The report was “entirely funded through the visible ads and directory listings purchased by consultants and consulting firms who help nonprofits choose or implement one or more of these systems. All advertiser payments were made before the report was distributed for review, and none of the advertisers had any control over the text of this report.” As a result, there are numerous ads for developers and vendors who specialize in these software alternatives.
What Software Are You Considering for Your Social Networking Website?
What software platform did you choose? Are you happy with it? Please leave me a comment. If you have launched and you’d like to be on my forthcoming “online community” page, use the contact box on the lower right to leave me your community name, URL, software platform and developer (if you care to).
Social Networking Software link from StartaSocialNetwork
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