Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Social Network Platform would you use to build a network specific to a user community

One of my clients is looking for help in building a brand new social network targeting a specific community which have specific attributes. They have requirements which are different from today’s general purpose social networks available on the market (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook etc.). Of course some basic features are very similar (i.e., finding people, advertisements etc.). However, we are looking for a very extensive user profile information which current platforms cannot offer.

I looked at utilizing a cloud based platform such as

  3. Bloomfire
  5. OneSite 

However, with each of these, we will end up implementing additional code to meet our specific requirements. I am also not sure what type of APIs are available which can allow us to build the functionality we are looking for.

I also looked at some of the packages (typically targeted for Enterprise Social Networks) including:

  1. Joomla
  2. Drupal
  3. phpFox 
  4. Jive
  5. Telligent

Some of these fall under the category of "Social CRM" and others in "Enterprise Social Network". These provide the basic building blocks for the network. However, the time-to-market along with implementation/operations overheads may become prohibitive.

SharePoint 2013 might be a good choice but not sure how licensing will work out for a large user community.

So, question is – Are there any good social network building platform (either a cloud/SaaS type offering or a framework which we can install and build upon)?