How to develop a social software application?
December 6, 2005 3:43 AM   Subscribe

How to develop a social software application?

I want to develop a social software application (e.g. craigslist or delicious). I am currently looking into " Ruby on Rails" but at the best I would like to start within an existing ecosystem.
NING would be perfect - but unfortunately they seem to be quiet dead. Any experience or recommendations?
posted by germanguy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Tom Coates wrote a pretty good working defintion of social software that you might want to read through. As far as software, I don't think that much matters. The hard part is providing enough value to keep people coming back, and you should use any software that allows you to do that.
posted by scottreynen at 5:26 AM on December 6, 2005

What do you mean Ning seems dead? They look alive to me.
posted by GuyZero at 5:50 AM on December 6, 2005

Check out jwz's article:
posted by jon_kill at 6:27 AM on December 6, 2005

jwz is correct. don't try to do too many things. Focus on one or two things and do them very well, making them dead-easy to use and your site/service will likelysucceed as long as you market it properly.
posted by camworld at 8:41 AM on December 6, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you very much for the answers so far...

I should have made the term "develop" more obvious. The "business development" (finding the right niche / market) will be the topic of my next question (next week).

This post's pivot is to the development of social software.

@GuyZero: Do you have any experience with NING?
It seems as if the playground is still alive - but the applications here are all but useful.
And there are few entries in the forums which almost always indicates lack of interest from the community...
posted by germanguy at 9:10 AM on December 6, 2005

To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience with Ning. What I meant was that they're still in business. The community looks a little slow, yes and most of the apps are underwhelming, sure... I never really though it seemed like a viable business idea, but then again I'm not really a big user of "social software" apps, so I wrote my ambivalence off to being outside their target market.

Anyway, my point was that they're alive as a dev platform. If you're looking for an active community for samples or interaction with other devs, yes, RoR is hot now, there's a large installed base of PHP developers and if you want to use a "real tool" you could always use Java - there are certainly blogging and community sites built on J2EE and there a re a lot of Java developers out there to talk to. Ning, hot? Maybe not.
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 AM on December 6, 2005

Best answer: i have a ning account, but nobody'd answer my goddamn question in the development forum, so i gave up. i feel like it's an every-man-for-himself sort of learning battle there. sooo muuuch poteeential gone to waste!
posted by soma lkzx at 12:49 PM on December 6, 2005

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