Before starting a social network one must understand the inner workings of it. A social network is basically comprised of a complex social structure that includes individuals and/or organizations; the relationships, connections and interactions between them is often regarded as a scientific study such as social psychology, statistics, sociology, and graph theory. One of the first persons to be credited with developing the first sociograms (sometime around the 1930s) was Jacob Moreno. His study was based on the analysis of interpersonal relationships as a mathematical equation, where people are points and their relationships were lines. In a nutshell, a social network is able to bring people together while developing as a self-sustainable organism. The most relevant example is, of course, Facebook, an online social network that started out in 2004 as a mean to communicate within a closed circle – it was designed only for Harvard students – but became the largest social network on Earth in just a few years with over 900 million active users. So, if you’re looking to start your own social network and, who knows, one day become number one, here are ten tools to help you out.
OneSite offers a hybrid social networking CMS platform and includes custom profiles, user-generated content such as photos, videos and forums, groups, calendars, activity streams, blogs, and so on. OneSite started out in 2004 and is a subsidiary of the hosting company Catalog.com
Cerado developed a social network tool with the name of HayStack – a simple utility to built simple, but effective social networks with prime features such as profiles and group blogging. It’s a good start if you’re looking for a quick solution that will launch you into the world of social networking.
With Broadband Mechanics’ PeopleAggregator you can experiment the building of a social network around open standards – meaning that users can easily move between networks, owned or not by the same person. In a nutshell, imagine that you could easily transfer your Facebook profile to networks like MySpace, Friendster, etc. Furthermore, any changes on those networks will be available on Facebook as well. This is done via PeopleAggregator’s OpenID authentication system.
Me.com is based on a software tool called SNAPP, and if you’re a fan of the MySpace social space, then this is exactly the thing you are looking for. The main feature of Me.com is to built a social network in just a few necessary steps, and although it may lack eye-candy effects, it’s still a very powerful ally in your quest for fame and glory.
CollectiveX is the new Groupsite.com – a platform for those of you who want to create social websites known as Groupsites. Social collaboration combines most of the useful features of online groups and listservs, collaboration software, and social networks.
We continue our list of ten tools to start your own social network with WackWall, yet another utility that enables you with creating a customized social network that features photo and video sharing, forums, blogs, events, and everything a social network should be when first started.
The London-based SocialGO company lets you create and run a full pledged social network website. As an administrator you can choose who will join, and what kind of features will be enabled for each individual, in addition to choosing a cool looking interface and other customization options.
Our next addition is Elgg – a powerful utility to take full advantage of what a social network means. The award winning open-source engine enables a robust framework to built various social environments, including campus, school, or college networks.
KickApps is primarily focused on web developing. As such, if you’ve already built a website and want to incorporate a social network platform as well, this is the best tool to use. You can take advantage on the options it provides, starting with a clean template which you can customize the way you want.
Ning – meaning Peace in Chinese – is our number one choice in this list of tools to start your own social network as it offers a wide variety of tools and solutions for setting up a professional and functional platform. The company’s efficiency is indeed impressive as it launched around 76.000 networks.
We hope this list will help you. Tell us which of these tools is the best for your needs.