How to Build a Micro-myspace
August 23, 2006 6:26 PM   Subscribe

What Open Source web application can I install that would make a good online community?

Looking to build an small online community web site for some people in a grouping. Looking for blogging functionality, picture uploading, and that kind of thing. Kind of like building my own micro-myspace.

Any suggestions on an existing open source platform to base such a project?
posted by benjh to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Drupal rules, in this regard, because of its strong group-building tools. But I found it kinda complex to configure, and not entirely intuitive.

I'd start with WordPress, then tinker with the (many) third-party extensions that give it more bite. It's really a great platform, simple and well thought out and robust.
posted by jbickers at 6:38 PM on August 23, 2006

As well as Drupal Xoops may be worth a look.

And check out the CMS for other options.
posted by sien at 6:45 PM on August 23, 2006

Ooops. That last line should be CMSMatrix for the link.

And maybe look up CMS in wikipedia.
posted by sien at 6:46 PM on August 23, 2006

I'm fond, as everyone around here knows entirely too well, of WebGUI.

It is pretty powerful, but pretty simple to get started with -- though installing it (while not as bad as previously) can be a bear.

You can get it hosted for between $10 and $30 a month (per domain), or installed it for free (it's GPL'd; written in Perl).
posted by baylink at 6:48 PM on August 23, 2006

Response by poster: Is there a way to easily open Wordpress up so that other users can contribute blog entries while keeping the admin section fairly restricted.

I would love to be able to let people create their own blogs, that kind of thing, just can't seem to find the right software to pull it off.
posted by benjh at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2006

Drupal can easily do multi-user blogs. I don't think you can apply multiple themes - customization like MySpace.
posted by unixrat at 7:48 PM on August 23, 2006

I wrote a long answer comparing drupal with others but deleted it to just ask you this: how messy do you want to get with the code? HTML? CSS? PHP? JavaScript? Is this on your own server or hosted elsewhere? Is that host running PHP 4 or 5? Does that host have ImageMagick installed? What MySQL version?

These factors will all make a big difference when choosing your cms. If you're the host, then are you prepared to install and configure the server yourself, or do you want this all one-click install?
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 8:59 PM on August 23, 2006

Depending on the scale of community you're looking to build, LiveJournal pretty much invented this stuff. There are a number of communities built on the open source LiveJournal code that number into the millions of members. There are something like 15 million registered users across the LiveJournal-based services around the world. I work with the team that built it, but since it costs zero, I'm not exactly on commission for recommending it. :)
posted by anildash at 9:13 PM on August 23, 2006

Drupal (another vote here) supports themes (quite a few of them nicked from Wordpress) and you can allow users to switch among the ones you provide. Not quite the same thing as MySpace, but not as ugly, either.
posted by wheat at 12:20 PM on August 24, 2006

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