Open source social networking or KM tool for an intranet
August 13, 2007 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm either after a free, open source social networking app or a free, open source knowledge management app for my company's intranet.

My company has two different change teams that work on large projects. One works just in customer service, the other works for the rest of the company. They want to share information on projects they've worked on and personal experience they have. To this end, I want to install an online app to support them. However, do I want a social networking app or a KM one?

I'm not after loads of features - the important thing is that people can document whatever they want to in an easy, non-code writing (ie, no wiki) way.

Can someone recommend either a social networking or KM app that they've used on an intranet? We're running version 5 of both PHP and MySQL. The only stipulation, other than it must run on that platform, is that it must be free.
posted by TheDonF to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
What you're describing isn't, I think, generally what's considered "social networking", but just Content (or, as you put it, Knowledge) Management. As I understand it, you're not looking to enable your users to find each other, but rather set up essentially a large Knowledge Base, is that correct?

To that end, in the free/PHP arena, I'd suggest either Wordpress or Drupal. If you just want multiple authors entering content that they can tag with keywords and make searchable, WP will probably do all you want. Drupal can do that, and a ton of other things- if you have developers, you can really leverage Drupal into being a full-blown intranet rather than just an app within it.
posted by mkultra at 11:05 AM on August 13, 2007

To me, it sounds like a wiki would really foot the bill for you. Wikis that I've deployed include some WYSIWYG editors, so knowing wiki markup isn't really essential for folks who want to start publishing stuff immediately. I trained quite a few decidedly non-technical folks in using it, and they were up and running within about 2 minutes.

For the record, we were using JSPWiki. If I had to do it again, I might use Twiki or MediaWiki.
posted by jquinby at 11:39 AM on August 13, 2007

I asked a similar question, maybe.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:05 PM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: I just don't see WP as any kind of KM tool. Drupal, from what I understand, is something of a pain to install and modify, although I'm prepared to be told otherwise. In terms of developers, there's only me and don't have that much spare time on my hands to tinker with things.

Twiki looks interesting as it has a WYSIWYG editor, loads of plugins and access control.
posted by TheDonF at 12:09 PM on August 13, 2007

I work with the Movable Type team, and we see a *lot* of people using it for exactly this combination of content management and social functions inside organizations.

The open source version of MT is due to be released shortly, and MT4 will be out momentarily as well, which offers a lot of integration with other business software and has features that give IT guys warm fuzzies.

If you'd like, feel free to email me at and I can send you some case studies.
posted by anildash at 12:48 PM on August 13, 2007

Take a look at PHPizabi and ELGG. Both are geared toward social networking but might have the features you need.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:15 PM on August 13, 2007

posted by TomMelee at 2:29 PM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: Yeah, I had a look at elgg this afternoon and it looks quite nice. dotproject is interesting and could be useful for something else, but for this it's too much project management and not enough social/KM.
posted by TheDonF at 3:18 PM on August 13, 2007

« Older Recovering Sony Laptop   |   Steel or aluminum bike frame? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.