The original article can be found in 9 Ways to Build Your Own Social Network and the summary of the information is quoted below:
Ning (which means “peace” in Chinese, in case you were wondering) currently provides by a wide margin the best platform for setting up fully functional and visually appealing social networks from scratch.
KickApps is targeted more at web developers (and companies with web developers on staff) who want to incorporate social networking features into their existing websites without going through the hassle of coding and maintaining those features on their own.
CrowdVine may not be pretty or intricate but it’s not meant to be. Until recently a one-man show embodied by Tony Stubblebine, CrowdVine provides the simplest, most basic solution for those looking to set up their own social network.
Representatives for GoingOn (still in beta) admit that their site is ugly (and, I should add, quite disorganized), but appearances tend to mask the potential of this company’s platform, which is intended to straddle the divide between those of Ning and KickApps.
CollectiveX is a borderline white label social network platform. Its questionability arises from its orientation around exclusive groups (”groupsite” being its word for “network”) and from its very narrow range of customization options. Additionally, members of a CollectiveX group cannot friend each other, so it lacks a basic feature of virtually every social network (apparently, it is presumed that everyone within a group knows each other).
Me.com, which runs on top of software called SNAPP, is the MySpace of white label social networking platforms (and I mean that derogatorily). The idea, as with Ning, is to set up a network in a minimal number of steps. However, each of Me.com’s themes is an eyesore and, worse, the organization of elements throughout the default network is horrible. If you like this MySpace approach to user interface design, then you’ll be right at home. I, for one, get a headache just looking at the thing.
Broadband Mechanics’ PeopleAggregator is an experiment in building social networks around open standards so that people can easily move between networks, whether or not those networks are run by the same owners or contain the same features.
Haystack, a Cerado product, is a social networking utility that is even more stripped down than CrowdVine. Networks (or “haystacks”) built on this platform are very simple, both visually and functionally. The main features consist only of profiles and group blogging.
ONEsite, a subsidiary of the hosting company Catalog.com, provides a hybrid social networking/website hosting solution. They allow you to mask your social network’s URL so that it meshes with an existing website, but they won’t offer you their free social networking solution unless you buy a domain with them. In the limited time of this study, we weren’t able to set up a network of our own.
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