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LIST OF NETWORKS
complete Educational Website for Students and staff where they can get everything like books, model papers, competitive exam model papers etc.
Possible community/social network-building site services:
Drupal Gardens is a service that will be provided by Acquia, the company founded by Drupal's originator, Dries Buytaert. It is currently in beta; anyone can sign up for the beta program on the site. The site also includes a video demo of how it works. Drupal Gardens will offer free Drupal 7 based websites as a SAS (software as a service), with full Drupal 7 features, built on Acquia Drupal. Each site will be a complete user-friendly environment for non-experts to use Drupal 7 to create communities. This is very different to how Drupal has been used in the past, because there is typically a big learning curve associated with establishing an out-of-the-box Drupal site. They aim to take the pain out of configuration and particularly out of "theming" (what Drupal calls designing a Drupal site). A site will also be exportable, so that if a decision were made later to go to a full (non-SAS) Drupal site, the entire site built on Drupal Gardens, including its data and design, can be downloaded and moved to a LAMP server. Drupal 7 will not be released officially until probably September of this year, at which point Drupal Gardens would likely come out of beta and become generally available to the public.
A Ning clone. Interestingly they feature a "Data Ownership Guarantee" badge and monetization options, so it looks like they are already thinking about how to accommodate changes down the road. If anyone has experience building a network with SocialGO, it would be helpful to have that information here.
Possible community/social network-building software:
Note: Rather than discuss merits and/or disadvantages of each of these products here, I suggest we use existing resources that already cover this area well. We might later come up with a spreadsheet of our own that considers the needs of the community specifically. Evaluation/review resources include
Wapedia's Social Network Engine Comparison
Drupal is an option for building something from scratch. Which version? If Ning is going to be phased out any sooner than September and we want to go "live" with a new site before then, we might want to think about Drupal 6, because it is already established and has many, many "modules" (optional add-on features) that are available and tested. If we don't need to go live until September, when Drupal 7's official release is expected, it would be much better to go with Drupal 7, for a better administrative interface and easier design options (although Drupal 7 is still not a SAS approach and would require some knowledge, or willingness to learn on the part of sysops, to get off the ground). Either version of Drupal out of the box will entail the dedicated efforts of a team of developers who know or can learn how to make it into the community we're looking for. Drupal will also require a LAMP server. That costs, but as we already have financial support adequate to pay for monthly hosting, that shouldn't be an obstacle.
BuddyPress is built on WordPress MU (which stands for Multi-User). BuddyPress is not Ning, but to their credit, they seem to be reaching out directly to the Ning community with posts like
. Like Drupal, BuddyPress will entail paying for a LAMP server and hosting. The learning curve may be less than that with Drupal; however, there will be one, and dedicated sysops will be needed.
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