Other social networking, groupware, collaboration, and decision making tools. The question is, why not tool X?


34 more ways to build your own social network: A rundown of 34 white-label social networking services (commercial and very pricey)


people organizing around issues of activist social networking


Brenna’s notes from Allied Media Conference workshop on youth movement and social networking.

social networking + group collaboration

This is an odd category, but there are an increasing number of commercial services that use combine group collaboration, project management, and social networking. These include the functionality of wikis, tasks, files, etc, with multiple work spaces.


pbworks.com u: danielscott1@mac.com p: crabgrass

pbworks, from pbwiki, is an enterprise collaboration and social networking solutiontagline: “online team collaboration. shared workspaces link colleagues, clients, and partners for better teamwork”



jive, which started life as an open source java forum many years ago, now is an ‘enterprise social network’ that seems very similar to crabgrass. You can see an example of a community page in the openfire support site.

tagline: “Generate bigger business outcomes by creating a collaborative environment that gives members instant access to people, content and activities, along with intuitive social networking tools.”

open source (rails)

teambox teambox.com/# — robust and mature. version 3 is agpl3. Version 4 not yet open source.

community engine

Community Engine is a rails plugin/engine that adds a pretty good “community” site to your site, like forums, photos, profiles, etc.


LovdByLess is open source social networking in rails. Features: Follow a user, mutual following is friending. User-to-User Messaging. Profile Comments. User Blogs with Comments. Photo Gallery with Captions. Site Search for Friends. Profile Bio and Information. User Dashboard (Recent Activity of Friends). Emailed Activity. Flickr Integration. YouTube Integration.


open source social networking software for alumni networks written in rails. from germany. www.workingwithrails.com/project/4285. Code is available from sourceforge project site


team based email, calendars, address books, and file storage. everywhere: rss, comments, tagging. cool features like ‘smart folders’, consistent UI for tagging every page, notify settings, etc. very very slick, ajax only. joyent has also released (as open source) slingshot which magically allows you to create desktop-based rails applications that sync data to an online db/web app.
Free Account for testing Web Site: crabtest.joyent.net Username: dnice Password: StLAmQ4rePb


license: free software
framework: Ruby on Rails
links: groupspace.org, http://groupspace.org/DemeWiki/OnlineDeliberationLinks
Deme allows groups of people to discuss, brainstorm, collaborate, and make decisions together, at their own convenience, via the World-Wide Web. Groupspace.org is a host server for Deme, and is currently offered on a prototype, as-is basis for groups to use free of charge.
features: document-centered discussion, collaborative authoring, polling and integrating email with message boards, , petition signing, survey design, event scheduling.


license: GPL
framework: Ruby on Rails
Internet democracy mixing deliberations, propositions and votes. Security with P2P, PGP signatures, electoral lists.
features: Forum, mailing list, blog, home page, chat room, newspaper, A collaborative writing system based on democratic principles.
comments: confusing!


license: open source (gpl?)
framework: Ruby on Rails
wagn is high concept wiki that attempts to cross a wiki with a database. wagn.org/wagn/structured_rails_wiki

open source (not rails)


federated real-time collaboration


UnionBook is the social networking site for trade unionists. Unlike other social networks such as MySpace, FaceBook and Bebo, UnionBook is advertising-free, respects your privacy and is specifically designed to serve the trade union movement. Use it to meet up with friends online, post comments to discussion forums, create a blog, upload photos and so on. (l/p danielscott/crabgrass)


three applications in one: social networking, content management system, collaboration suite. mature, powerful, many features. MIT license, written in java.


social network, groupware
license: GPL
platform: php


social network, groupware winner of multiple awards, seems very finished, and facebook like.
license: GPL
platform: php
Elgg is an open source social networking platform based around choice, flexibility and openness: a system that firmly places individuals at the centre of their activities. Your users have the freedom to incorporate all their favorite tools within one environment and showcase their content with as many or as few people as they choose, all within a social networking site that you control.


Elgg ‘offspring’ (?) has quite amazing support for recent federation protocols, looks like cool dev community behind!


Appleseed is (augmented) social networking software, ie Friendster, only distributed. Sites running Appleseed will interoperate, and form the ‘Appleseed Social Network.’ Development is focused on privacy and security, as well as ease of configuration.

chandler hub

super slick personal information management: sharing of calender, mail, tasks.

organic groups

social network, cms
license: open
platform: php/drupal


license: GPL
language: PHP
Activism Network fills a unique niche: comprehensive social change networking software that prioritizes the greater good of social movements over the interests of any one participant. It encourages networking between groups in the same social movement, and networking between different social movements. When movements grow, then organizations grow too. While several websites include both events and groups, this is the only mature project to go beyond those two things to include: people, groups, events, resources (aka files), issues, campaigns, and more. Uses web services and an API to share a central database – so that one database can power several websites. Powers both activismnetwork.org and campusactivism.org.
comments: has been around a while, seems mature, is being used, has some cool features.

buddypress.org/demowordpress social network plugin for wordpress MU

sakaiproject.org: java-based collaborative learning environments for universities.

project pad: ppad2 is a web-based system for media annotation and collaboration for teaching and learning and scholarly applications. The system offers an easy to use “direct manipulation” user interface. Built as an add-on to sakai.

daisychain: social networking application written in php, associated with the free software foundation. daisycha.in

diaspora – project to build a federated, open source social network – already in operation – you can join a pod at joindiaspora.com or other sites

we can get the code


platform: ruby/rails


platform: ruby on rails
license: no cost for non-commercial use
Breakout Pro is social software for getting things done. It provides a suite of Web 2.0 collaboration tools (wiki, discussion, feed aggregation, asset management) along with team building and permissioning that can range from completely private to completely public.

hosted services (political)



Social fundraising, with CRM action.


An aggregater of political social networking sites: Social Actions helps individuals and organizations use social media to plan, implement, and support peer-to-peer social change campaigns


A huge liberal social network with tons of features and millions of users. Not pretty, but functional.
heavy on the ads. not good on privacy.


Social network for the “Green Movement”, eco powered servers.
features: blog, events, groups, classifieds, chat/im, gallery, polls.


decision making, deliberation
CivicEvolution provides online tools and resources to help groups achieve their goals through deliberation and collaboration.


Web 2.0 social networking wireless, tools to link and find new friends using major networks,chat, video and SMS based messaging.An easy to use software suite that charities,churches,villages, and members of the outside can look in.


Greenvoice is an online community for environmentally aware people. We provide the platform for people who care about the environment to meet, inform each other on environ-mental issues and to campaign on these issues with other Greenvoicers.


MyBloc.net Uses web 2.0 tools and the skills of emerging people of color organizer-technologists to increase the effectiveness and impacts of base-building organizations while laying the foundation for the progressive youth leadership pipeline.
password: “bloc 2007”


What if youth everywhere came together to inspire each other, get informed about social issues, and involved in their communities? TakingITGlobal evolved from this idea to a Social Network for Social Good, inspiring youth to create a better world.


WiserEarth promotes social change by empowering the largest and fastest growing movement in the world—the hundreds of thousands of organizations within civil society that address social justice, poverty, and the environment. WiserEarth provides tools to help these organizations find each other, collaborate, share resources and build alliances.


ZSpace is a social network for ZNET/ZMAG contributors and sustainers. The site is fairly simple (blogs, groups, friends) but it is used by many radical and progressive commentators and journalists.

commercial hosted services

app.asana.com mcnair@riseup.net/crabgrass
very simple to use robust task list. makes creating tasks super easy. butter.

basecamp: buttery, very similar, successful, mature
u: mcnair p: test12345

CouchSurfing is a non-profit organization dedicated to the global community. CouchSurfing was created specifically so that everyone can travel the world and partake in cultural exchange. Awesome!

“CollectiveX is a simple tool that enables you to quickly and easily set up a private website for sharing and networking within your group.” features: Unlimited Users, Social Networking, Shared Calendar, Discussion Forum, File Cabinet. written in Ruby on Rails. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CollectiveX

turnkey customizable social networking, designed for conferences and professionals, it seems.


JustMeans is the first social media platform that helps people and organizations connect to create value beyond the bottom line. We provide news, jobs, and networks for people who create change. hmmmm, i also see alcoa’s using this

pretty slick group space, intended for strangers to find each other and start a social gathering. calendars, polls, files, discussions, mailing list. example


For professional biz. like linked in. very clean UI.

u: whatthefuckever, p: crabgrass

u/p: fusenetwork/crabgrass

Very slick, written in rails. White-label social networking service. demo.socialspring.com. u/p: crabgrass/crabgrass

Point. Find a Campaign that addresses a problem you have. Join it and do nothing now. If and only if enough people commit(the tipping point) the entire group takes action to solve the problem.


yahoo groups
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/crabgrass, u: danielmcnairscott, p: crabgrass

Has some interesting organizational tools that are similar to crabgrass: networks (called “Group Families”) and committees.

democrasoft: democratic decision maker