Social networking 'middleware'?
February 3, 2009 4:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm at the tail end of demo-ing dozens of 'social networking platforms' and services like ning, collectivex, and alfresco community -- trying to find a solution for managing an affinity group. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. I've also looked at many 'knowledge management' and 'groupware' applications. I think I need something something that sits between linkedin, facebook, twitter, and... basic, searchable member profiles.

With so many consumer social networking sites out there, I'm starting to think differently about my own needs. Instead of using yet another white label social networking application, I'm starting to think that what I need is some kind of social 'middleware' application that let's me create and manage a group -- essentially moderating access to the group -- of individuals that simply maintain rich profiles that can be searched by anyone in the group. Kind of like, except exclusively for individuals. On their profiles, members can point to their facebook, linkedin accounts, and also show twitter feeds and delicious links, etc. As such, the profile pages -- available to members of the group -- are simply a social index (each containing wide ranging links to other profiles and favorites, etc.) But this 'middleware' application itself is pretty simple. Benefits of group access include consolidated info on each member, and ability to search members expertise, location, and interests.

I don't want to build something like this from scratch. Anyone familiar with anything like this? Or anyone doing something similar? Are there any wiki platforms that come close?

Thank you for suggestions!
posted by pallen123 to Technology (3 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like a job for SocialEngine!

I believe that it has everything that you are looking for (and then some), while not being as complex as some other tools out there (like drupal).

Maybe give it a look see?
posted by milqman at 4:39 PM on February 3, 2009

A friend gave me recently a tour of BuddyPress.
I haven't used it yet but there are a lot of interesting features and "Each BuddyPress component is independent. This means you can pick and choose which features you’d like".
posted by bru at 5:52 PM on February 3, 2009

It sounds like any wiki with user accounts, search, and the ability to embed rss feeds in a page will do. Surely there is free wiki software that supports embedding rss, although I don't know any offhand.
posted by PueExMachina at 7:27 PM on February 4, 2009

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