BuddyPress or Ning : Community/Social Networking Website toward a fully functional prepackaged product / SAS based on Drupal / let's works on that at DrupalCon SF

JBI's picture

I have received tremendous respons on this subject until now.
50+ comments on the discussion on GDO http://groups.drupal.org/node/45468
100+ people attended the real life Event WordPress / Drupal http://jbingold.com/content/rencontre-des-deux-mondes-wordpress-et-drupal

And today a twiit from a WordPress strategist http://www.twitter.com/roprice

@JBingold That session proposal looks terrific.. there's no question of the need for a BuddyPress equivalent in Drupal. Thanks
@JBingold a Drupal evangelist who recognizes the value of WordPress and fosters non-childish discussions about the two. Nice to see that.

So please make sure you vote for our sessions :

Vote for both sessions because I think blogging and social neworking / community are two differents use case.

And yes there in the bussiness perspective there is realy strategie to discuss about WordPress/BuddyPress and Software as a service.

Have look at the attached graph "wordpress + social" is rocking up
Only local images are allowed.

Jean-Baptiste Ingold
PS Still open to other panelist. Perhaps OpenAtrium of OpentPublish can be nice starting plateform to build on for this ready to use profile and service. The feature rocks...


JBI's picture


Community/Social Networking Website toward a fully functional prepackaged product / SAS based on Drupal ?


blockquote>We see more and more product (like openatrium openpublish and the like) but nothing in the core bussiness of Drupal : community website and social networking website at the same time BuddyPress and Services like ning are having more and more success as you can see on jobs' offers

We lack of social plateform ready to use (as service or as installation profile) based on Drupal.

We are now witnessing on the one hand the creation of more complex sites using WordPress with integration with social web and BuddyPress (a fully functional community website installation profile), and on the other hand a much more user friendly version 7 of Drupal and lots of pre-packaged products as OpenAtrium and OpenPublish.

With members of WordPress/BuddyPress community I lauch a meeting to have panel (community and real life usecase). More than 100 peoples came to the event. http://jbingold.com/content/rencontre-des-deux-mondes-wordpress-et-drupal

I open a discution on http://groups.drupal.org/node/45468#comments
I contacted http://acquia.com/blog/features-used-80-social-sites as they have launch a survey on the features used in 80% of the social sites.

The subject is not new and we will try to put together what have been done until now. For instance by Michelle who was the first to respons to my post.

Looking for co-presenters



Co presenting

leontong.brightlemon's picture

I'd be happy to co-present on Drupal and Social networking - definitely interested in the session on the social networking distribution...

Blogging : vote or twiit

JBI's picture


How (and Why) to Make Drupal the Ultimate Blogging Platform

There are many terrific blogging tools out there, but this session will show how Drupal can be made into the ultimate blogging platform, without writing a single line of code.

I'll also cover how to integrate a blog into an existing Drupal website -- and what the benefits of such an approach are. But this session will be light on theory and heavy on practical details, starting with exactly which modules to use as the foundation of your blog, including:
* Views
* Taxonomy
* ImageCache
And quite a few more...

In the meantime, I'll cover what *not* to use, including Drupal's native “Blog” module. I'll also touch on the pros and cons of using the native "Comment" modules, versus a 3rd party commenting service such as Disqus and IntenseDebate.

Next I'll demonstrate how to use Drupal functionality to build the following blog-style features:
* Tagging
* Categories & category landing pages
* RSS feed
* Advanced SEO (a Drupal only feature!)
* Auto-tagging (another Drupal only feature!)
* Automatic image sizing and presentation (yet another Drupal only feature!)

I'll also cover creating standard blog sidebar elements in Drupal, including:
* Tag clouds
* Post mini-calendars
* Hierarchical category navigation.
* RSS Feed Button

Having walked through the steps to creating a blog, I'll share tips for incorporating a blog into a pre-existing Drupal website, using Taxonomy, Views, the Context module, and smart navigation design.

I'll conclude the session by talking about using the Features module to "save your work", making your future Drupal blog implementations not only code-less, but painless as well.

If I may add my 2 cents

irakli's picture

If I may add my 2 cents (having looked into Drupal as Social Networking platform extensively and even maintained one of the core modules for that for a while) - to create an installation profile, you need solid selection of core modules. For Social Networking that would be:
1) ActivityStream
2) FriendConnections
3) Advanced Profiles
4) Groups
5) Multimedia

While Drupal has something to show for in (3) and (4), it is seriously lacking in (1), (2) and (5). Especially problematic is Activity Stream creation. There are some modules in Drupal attempting the implementation of that, but I personally am very skeptical about them.

Activity Steams is an extremely resource-intensive functionality that, quite honestly, needs completely different architecture from that of Drupal and I, personally, don't see a scalable solution emerging unless there's a significant support for it in Core. There is absolutely none of that in D6 or D7 so we can only push for that in D8, if that.


we would need the help of the big players

JBI's picture

I think there have quite a loot happening about Products and services

Bigs players are giving a mommentum :
-Phase2 with openpublish
-dev seed with openatrium
-Lullboot ??
-Acquia gardens

On blogging we may be ok but wordpress is a moving target.
WordPress.com ( the hosted version ) is switching to BuddyPress with the 5 features you listed.

You are able to things that were only possible on Drupal.
Job market show also how fast wordpress become social.

So who want to step in ? Who want to take part of this panel.

I'm quite open to reframe it find the right balance between compétitive annalysis and technical stuff of implementation.

Drupal is in the good

lopolencastredealmeida's picture

Drupal is in the good direction but it must run faster.

Wordpress 3.0 wil have even more possibilities hence it break the dual type of contents (posts and pages) and also will include a real easy Menu Builder and Multiblog won't be anymore a seperated project.

The gap is shortenig and Wordpress is way easier to implement and to develop to, even without mentioning the cheap to free real pro themes around.

I disagree that Drupal

IceCreamYou's picture

I disagree that Drupal doesn't have something to show for 1 and 2. I will concede that I haven't yet found a multimedia solution in Drupal that is as good as I would like.

For streams, the Activity module in the 2.x branch is almost everything an Activity stream should be (my main gripe is that the records are historical, meaning if you change your profile picture, the Activity record will still use the one you had when the Activity record was generated -- although there are ways around this). If you want to pull in data from other sites there is the Activity stream module. If you want status updates like Twitter and Facebook, there is Facebook-style Statuses. All of these modules use Views to create a unified interface for streams that can also be formatted in other ways (like RSS, for example).

The User Relationships module and (my personal preference) the Flag Friend module are both complete friend solutions that integrate with a wide array of other modules (including the stream-related modules mentioned above).

My two major problems with Drupal and social networking is (A) I haven't yet found an image gallery system that encompasses everything I want out of an image gallery on a social networking site and (B) there is currently no unified way for users to control what information on their profile gets shown to everyone as opposed to just their friends.

@IceCreamYou, how many

irakli's picture


how many concurrent users do you think you can realistically scale either Activity or Activity Stream module-based, Drupal driven social network website to?


I hope you are not going to

crea's picture

I hope you are not going to build another Facebook on Drupal ? :) Because then you would be in trouble. Other than that - hardware is cheap and most sites are small-to-medium (Internet has so called "long tail"). Also, if you indeed want to build large-scale web-app, why not code own solution ? That should be available because if you are building large-scale stuff you have investments. You could start building on Drupal's free modules, and replace them with custom ones later, when your project starts to bring profits. From the business point that's what comes to my mind.

ActivityStream is all about

IceCreamYou's picture

ActivityStream is all about 3rd-party data, which is not really what most SN's are about. I would guess it wouldn't scale well though.

Activity, on the other hand, should be extremely scalable. It is based on the core Trigger/Actions framework which powers very large, high-profile sites. SonyBMG uses Activity, for example. So I would say hundreds of thousands of users would be no problem, probably even millions.

Facebook-style Statuses should scale similarly well, except that the Views integration is slower than it should be right now. However, that should be fixed within the next few weeks, and the API makes it very easy to write custom listings where desired.

Media Module?

dipen chaudhary's picture

I will concede that I haven't yet found a multimedia solution in Drupal that is as good as I would like.

I will suggest you take a look at [http://drupal.org/project/media |Media Module] I think its a great media approach going forward. Would like to know what do you think of media module's potential to serve media related requirements of a social networking site.

Dipen Chaudhary
Founder, QED42 http://www.qed42.com Drupal development

It looks promising but I

IceCreamYou's picture

It looks promising but I won't be using Drupal 7 (except in Drupal Gardens) until after there is a Release Candidate, and it will likely be some time after that before the Media module is also stable.

For me, the crucial features of a multimedia solution on a social networking site are multiple, user-specific galleries and mass uploading. That can kind of be done with the Image suite and Taxonomy (and some auxiliary modules) now, but it takes more fiddling than it should.

JB, you may want to contact

irakli's picture

JB, you may want to contact Alex Karshakevich http://drupal.org/user/183217 if you are looking for co-presenters.

I will be more than happy to join the panel, as well, if you need a perspective on building distributions.


Irakli I think your

JBI's picture

Irakli I think your perspective on building distributions would be very valuable.
Thank you

I try from the begining to get Acquia also involved in this panel as they are working on a service SaaS with DrupalGardens.

A comment of Dries today gave me some hope that this discussion get to be noticed

But I still need to have a respons of their marketing departement. Every one of them is very busy at DrupalCon + we don't know if this panel will make it to the final shedule joined or not with the blogging proposal (there is no information about vote).

take a look at what we're building...

Palbin's picture

Hey Everyone,

We're working on a semantic social network that employs many of the features being discussed in this thread and I invite you to take a look at what we have in the functional alpha release.

There is a lot of dirt on the floor... but I think you can see where we are headed.


We'd love to hear your thoughts.

See you at DrupalconSF

Niche social network and social tools for today's gardeners.
What's growing on in your garden? :—,)*

I had a tour of

JBI's picture

I had a tour of http://www.thegardengeek.com
I's very nice, contragratulation very easy to have a overview of the features on offers.

According to iraki list or some feature of activity stream/profile and video are missing.

The buddyPress http://groups.drupal.org/node/45468#comment-138478
or ning http://groups.drupal.org/node/45468#comment-138488
is more difficult to match.

But it's very clean an crisp.

Have you done some writeup about the modules you choose ? The custom code you had to write ? and the performance challenge you faced ?

Have you consider doing something like a distribution or an hosted version (SaaS) that people could us (with web interface) to make their own community on other subject. Something like ning.com

I agreed, it looks nice.

gugki's picture

I agreed, it looks nice. great work.

actually I would also be interested in your choice of modules with maybe some few words on the dicision (why flag instead of UR, why image field + tax instead of image + im_gal etc.). This would be a great base for discussion.

Some few comment:
I personally would use captcha instead of recatcha but thats a minor issue.
a small bug: viewing a photo in an own user gallery the gallery name is not been showed ("" instead).

Lanching a social network

mrbeau's picture

I don't want to hijack this excellent discussion, but some of you who have fought through some of the issues might be interested in working on a project that I have posted at http://drupal.org/node/731934. Have a look and drop me a line if you're interested.


Another "competitor" to keep in mind...

ln282's picture

There are a LOT of groups that use Yahoogroups and hate them, but haven't moved to Ning or Buddypress because they are looking for different tools, and something that feels less invasive than a "real" social network.

I'm working on a site for a community that tends to use yahoogroups, and my main focus has been on providing tools yahoogroups doesn't, while generally avoiding asking for too much profile management, etc... from the users.

In place of asking users to maintain a new friend list, I use the Facebook connect module, and show them their Facebook friends who are also members of my site. In place of an activity stream on my site, I offer ways to share content via email, twitter or facebook.

The key modules for this kind of social site:
-Organic groups
-Facebook Connect (in dev, IME it works)
-Printer, email & pdf versions
-Author Pane

I'm not using it at the moment, but Mailhandler would be good for a site that doesn't do much with cck.

Then, depending on the focus of the group, other modules could be added. My site is event-focused, so I have Date, Calender, and a customized version of signup. Other types of groups would want multimedia, or classifieds, or a forum.

It's not where it needs to be (especially from an aesthetic perspective), and I'm not a developer (be kind!), but here's my site: http://homeschoolrecess.com/

In any case, I think a drupal prepackaged social network should include Facebook connect, because it's a powerful tool to promote a niche network, and Ning doesn't have it. As far as I can tell, Buddypress only works with Facebook through Gigya, which is a paid service, and overkill if you only want to connect to Facebook. I don't see a comparable module for Joomla (but I don't have all morning to spend on this, so I may have missed it). The point is: it's not obvious how to add Facebook connect to these other providers, so an easy set up would be a feature exclusive to Drupal if it were included.

I agree with you. Facebook

ypraise's picture

I agree with you. Facebook connect is a great module for any drupal based social media site.

It's not just the abilty to log in and invite your facebook friends that's good but having your posts automatically passed to your facebook wall and friends that make it really powerful


OpenPublish and fully

domineaux's picture

Buddypress for Wordpress says you can have a site working to receive content within 6 minutes.
I'd say that is quite a benchmark to beat or achieve with anything Drupal based.
Ning says they can have you up in 30 seconds.
The Ning definitely looks amateurish, but time will heal that I'm sure.
It will take several months of work with either the Buddypress or Ning to find your way as a site developer.
I gave up on Wordpress several years back, because over time the demands from site owners for flexibility with large amounts of data.
The taxonomy tools were significant two years ago as no one had anything comparable.
Now with OpenCalais and othere semantic tools we appear to have more efficient ways to manage large amounts of data, which is highly accessible on the web.
We aren't waiting on the robots with just the right words carefully placed within our sites.

After looking at the Buddypress and Ning thing I would evaluate them as very focused applications, whereas Drupal and OpenPublish address much broader area of use for site builders.
I really wouldn't be interested to implement a full scale social network on my sites. I can see the value for people that are really "into" the social network thing.
Reminds me of reading history of the telephone where people had what they called "party lines". No one had a dedicated phone line so they would all share one line, and frequently as people came onto the line to make calls others would drop on and visit as well. Kind of a no privacy thing, but people wanted to communicate so they put up with the party thing.

What I'm saying is, this might not be as long-lived as people think. I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying the CB radio was a huge thing for many years, then cell phones, then texting and social networking. I think as some point the features will be there on site, but like site chats and forums they may not be as popular.

I still find Wordpress is not so state of the art in many areas. The Drupal Ubercart is a good example.
There is only one free theme for the e-commerce cart for Wordpress, and needed plugins are payware.
Ubercart works pretty well with most themes and it is much more comprehensive than the Wordpress cart.

OpenPublish and fully assembled projects are probably the future for Drupal.
It is a very steep learning curve working with 4,000+ modules for a Drupal site.
As a developer that only builds and maintains sites I will continue to carefully study all new projects like OpenPublish.

The efficiencies for using an OpenPublish far exceed those for just building a Drupal site, module by module.
Just searching, installing and working with all the various modules can take weeks of work.
Then many modules are very close to each other in what they do, which takes some work to find the refinements you need.
Posting on forums does help when others share their thoughts.

OpenPublish is a time saver as far as getting a feature packed site up and working fast.
As compared to builidng a site manually even if you are using OpenPublish. Manually working through the sequence of enabling modules, permisions, site configuration,etc.
This can take hours of work, and then mistakes are possible as well. Getting a working site all prepared to receive content can take days of work.
Even a manual installation of OpenPublish is still an enormous help, because of all the pre-built content types, views, panels, etc. This saves several days of work.

People want to do so much more with their sites, and a project like OpenPublish is an enormous jumpstart.
Currently, OpenPublish has a ways to go... The themes should be a priority, along with tutorials for working with the various modules in order to build competent sites.
Then of course, there are new modules being released that make sites even more exciting, which I won't name.

A thought on development. Learning Drupal is not an easy process, takes alot of dedication and patience. I admire the OpenPublish package, but seeing dedicated OP folders on my webserver and themes that depart from basic Drupal aren't things you really like to see. Especially, after you've spend years working with the Drupal and so many things are affected that require different ways of working wtih them.

A competent context sensitive help system would make OpenPublish more attractive to site builders.

Great discussion

jwalpole's picture

@domineaux thank you for your kind words and praise of OpenPublish. I think you understand the point of it better than most have. OP v2.0 is going to address major improvements to the theme layer. We are also looking for better help systems to build/integrate.

@JBI we are looking very closely.

Would you like to discuss at Drupalcon? Is there a BoF or session that came from these discussions?



Ning is dropping their free service...

ln282's picture


So a bunch of communities will be looking for a new home. The BuddyPress community is reaching out to Ning users: http://buddypress.org/blog/community/helpful-resources-for-ning-users/

I'm not sure exactly how this news might impact the discussion, but it seemed worth mentioning.

Well, Drupal has nothing to

bflora's picture

Well, Drupal has nothing to offer those people. To replicate what they can get with Buddypress or a paid Ning would require dozens of hours or learning and configuring. Then they'd need to hire someone to come in and physically code the necessary UI elements to get something that works as elegantly as what Buddypress offers.

There's Drupal Gardens, and

IceCreamYou's picture

There's Drupal Gardens, and soon enough there will be Drupal Commons... Gardens is much closer to what Ning was than Buddypress.

Drupal not in Alternatives

dipen chaudhary's picture

Its kind of painful to write that, but ning community doesn't see drupal or drupal SaaS service as one of the alternatives. http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/alternatives-1

Dipen Chaudhary
Founder, QED42 http://www.qed42.com Drupal development

JBI's picture

I read on a Christopher Murray blog (a consultant)

The BuddyPress and Drupal development communities are already gearing up for the anticipated Ning exodus. In fact, just this afternoon, BuddyPress developer Boone Gorges announced the development of a Ning to BuddyPress member import tool on Twitter. Expect to see similar announcements from a variety of sources over the coming weeks.

Alternatives like BuddyPress and Drupal are certainly not Free, as in cost. They are Free as in Libre. If you’re considering either of these open source options, we’d love to speak with you: you can reach me at 401-XXXX

But I don't see much happening in the Drupal community.

In WordPress and BuddyPress there is already a plugin to import user

New code is produced

I don't feel the same excitement in the Drupal community.

Clearly there is bussiness http://www.grouply.com/ even in closed solution. But the Drupal is left out when even so I strongly feel that Drupal is a much powerfull tools than Wordpress to offer the same level of service than Ning to enduser and editor.

Thanks to BuddyPress reactivity there are consultants offering there services to migrate from ning to buddypress migration but into Drupal.

just a user import...

kyle_mathews's picture

All that you can export from Ning at the moment is a user list... which would be trivial to import into Drupal with, say, Feeds. As soon as I make my next release of Eduglu (today or tomorrow hopefully) I'll write a post explaining how to export a Ning site into Drupal.

Kyle Mathews

Quick writeup

bonobo's picture

As Kyle points out, the functionality that other communities have been trumpeting of late is pretty old hat for Drupal -

I put together a quick post laying out the tools we have used to do this in the past: http://funnymonkey.com/migrating-from-ning-to-drupal

But really, the biggest challenge in importing users is getting clean data to import. Once you have good data to work with, the import is pretty straightforward, and, within Drupal, has been for years.

So, it's nice to see these other open source platforms catch up ;)

/me dons flame retardant gear, makes plans to cower for the weekend



We're currently working on a

johngriffin's picture

We're currently working on a social networking distribution for Drupal 7, it's taking a little longer than we thought because there is still a lot of work to do to upgrade some essental contrib. The distribution itself will of course be released as open source and we would love continue developing it as we learn more about the requirements of those who are using it, and bring it to maturity as a product.

The term "social networking" means many different things to different people, but hopefully there are some things that we can all agree on. Does anyone have any suggestions for a collaborative tool that we can use to gather feature suggestions and do a group prioritisation? We want to keep it minimal, with a broad appeal initially, but then focus in on common needs which we identify, we won't be adding features without very good reason!

We hope to collaborate with the Drupal Commons effort, and help Drupal to compete with software like Jive, though our primary focus isn't on attacking social business software!

We're planning on adding support for distributed social networking protocols as soon as we have a stable first release, we feel this would be a strong USP for those considering Drupal as a social networking platform, though Wordpress (and Buddypress) is already forging ahead in this field.

I'd love to see a SaaS version eventually but there's a lot to do before we get there, it'll be rough and ready until we know more about who will be using it, then we'll take a user-centered design approach and start aiming for a polished product.

John Griffin

Great news!

kyle_mathews's picture

I think there's a lot of people interested in making Drupal Social Networking Tools top notch. There's a lot of overlap between the needs of these different efforts (yours, Drupal Commons, Eduglu, Open Atrium, etc.) so fertile grounds for collaboration!

On collaboration tool for gathering feature suggestions and doing group prioritization, Google Moderator (http://www.google.com/moderator) is quite nice and often used for this sort of thing (and as an aside, someone should clone that for Drupal -- I will eventually unless someone beats me to it).

Kyle Mathews


johngriffin's picture

Hi Kyle, I hadn't heard of eduglu before but it sounds like a really interesting project, I signed up to the site and I look forward to checking it out. I think you're right that there's a lot of overlap between these projects, at the moment the vision for our distribution is quite broad but it will become more focussed over time.

Initially we're looking to package together some of the best and most useful social networking functionality, so we're looking at modules like og (groups in d7), user_relationships, profile2, activity/heartbeat, privatemsg. One of the biggest technical problems we're facing at the moment is that we're working in d7, so unstable and un-ported code abound! Even the tools we normally use, such as features, are not available on d7 yet. We're putting effort into upgrading these modules but can't do it all on our own so the release depends a lot on the community and demand for these modules in d7. Are you working in d6 or d7?

John Griffin

Awsome let's open a moderator

JBI's picture

That's really nice to see that the Drupal community is getting involved in this issue.

I was not able to attend DrupalCon SF; and to my knowledge, no BOF was organized as Jeff suggested.

But I feel we could work effectively even on long distance.

I will set up a tool to gather feature suggestions and do a group prioritisation?

I definitely feel less lonesome in my " competition" analysis :)

JB Ingold

Drupal is like a bicycle without a wheels

moesi_123's picture

I think drupal is fine CMS out there but not the best…

Drupal is like a bicycle without a wheels. without those modules out there I don’t know what drupal would be.

Kyle you are right lot of people is interested in making Drupal Social Networking Tools top notch.

People misunderstand drupal is not just about installing it and you are ready to go but also it needs your time to understand it and study it very well maybe a year or 2 years it depends if you have the free time to learn drupal so you can build your dream social networking website maybe not lol.

Don’t just rash and install drupal and thinking job is done. Believe me you will be getting stack with bunch of error before even going any further hahaha

Yes I know drupal is pain no wait I take that back drupal is not pain but the modules out there with a poor documentation that is pain. Example you heard they is a module out there is call suck_it_good and you have no idea what this module dose you will spend like hours and hours reading they poor document and still you don’t understand what they on about with this confusion names they saying or you need to add some extra PHP code here and there WHAAAAT coding PHP I am not a programmer I do not understand one bit ???

It would be nice if drupal module developers instead of writing bunch of text make a video tutorial and make lest confusion for the poor people. by doing this the drupal developers will save hell of allot of time and for sure people will be able to make they dream website weather is a social networking or just a business website whatever at list no more confusion is going on.

Anyways what I am saying is drupal is not what you think it’s you will always get stack somewhere if not today maybe tomorrow I promise you that.

Drupal they love confusing people so people can rash back to drupal forum and leave bunch of stupid question maybe that’s the point more visitor more topic more downloads and my friends that will put drupal on top on search engine optimization (SEO)

Like I said drupal is a fine CMS but not the best why because not everyone is a programmer or designer.

You need to know how to ride this bicycle

stattler's picture

You are absolutely right, drupal is a bicycle, but I would say, a bicycle with appropriate wheel. With this you can ride on gravel, cruise on pavement and climb on mountain as well. All you need is to know how to ride this special bike.

From my experience of using Joomla, then Wordpress and then Drupal, I can assert that, Drupal is THE MOST powerful of these three CMSs and I was able to build fully customized sites with Drupal.

And my programming knowledge? I don't want to say "none"; I only would acknowledge that I do not know whether a closing tag is needed for a php command in settings.php file. Simply copy pasting the php codes, I made all the customizations.

Drupal is awesome
Drupal is awesome, and again
Drupal is awesome.

Feature gathering and prioritization

JBI's picture

A google moderator is open


Fell free to populate it.

I have already done it with BuddyPress' list of features

Thanks a lot JBI! Would you

johngriffin's picture

Thanks a lot JBI! Would you mind if we re-factored the list a bit though to be in user story form? For example the first item in the list could be split into two user stories:

"Extensible Groups Powerful public, private or hidden groups allow your users to break the discussion down into specific topics. Extend groups with your own custom features using the group extension API."

could become:

"As a participant, I would like to be able to create a group so that I can share content and start discussions around a topic in a private or public space"


"As a developer, I would like to add custom features to groups using an API, so that I can easily extend the groups functionality."

If we try to keep the user stories quite broad it should make it easy for people to vote on the requirements which are important to them. We have a bunch of user stories already written, I'm sure we could get them up on google Moderator if you like?

John Griffin

Did you re-factored the list to be in user story form?

JBI's picture

Any place it's possible to see it ?

user stories

johngriffin's picture

Yes, we put them up on google moderator and asked people to prioritise them: http://goo.gl/mod/1Djb

John Griffin

kyle_mathews's picture

I noticed one of the user stories on the google moderator page was private messages. I think private messages should be similar to twitter in that they're encased in a microblogging tool (a feature that needs added there). Socialtext, an enterprise social software company, has a beautiful implementation of microblogging that works very nicely in three modes, site-wide, in groups, private messages to specific people. See http://www.socialtext.com/products/microblogging.php

@Johngriffin, just go ahead and add your user stories. If they overlap with JBI's maybe he or you can take down the conflicting user story.

Kyle Mathews

It's about phrasing

Boris Mann's picture

With John's method, it doesn't talk about implementation, rather just what users / admins / whatever are empowered to do. I agree John's stories are a more useful way for everyone (like, end users) to think about the features.

Great, I'll get our user

johngriffin's picture

Great, I'll get our user stories added into Google Moderator and post back here. Should be done within the next 48hrs.

John Griffin

Please vote!

johngriffin's picture


We set up a different google moderator series so that people could vote on our user stories, feel free to add to them too but please keep them in user story format.


JBI - I hope you don't mind us setting up another series, we waited to hear back from you but though it best to just set up another instead of add our user stories into your series - it would end up a mix of the features you took from buddy press and our user stories which would be confusing to vote on.

It took me just a few minutes to read through them and vote on them, I think it's a good idea to limit yourselves to 10 votes so we actually come out with a prioritisation, rather than just everything being voted on which doesn't tell you much!


John Griffin

Why the redirect ?

Aveu's picture

Why use the "goo.gl" domain redirect link instead of the direct link to http://www.google.com/moderator/#16/e=6c99 ?

I see some rather complex JS being loaded by that odd domain. What is that all for ?

Many thanks to those who took

johngriffin's picture

Many thanks to those who took the time to vote, we'll leave it open for people who find this thread later.

We're now starting development work on our first release, we'll also have a site up soon where you can track our progress and feed in suggestions. We plan to implement 8 of the top 10 stories (and some others) in the first release which we are aiming to be available for download at the end of July.

I think the most interesting outcome from the results was that only 3/7 people voted for friending, so it will not be in the first release :) We have also noticed in a lot of the community sites we build that friending is often not a requirement, they're more about people coming together around the content. However it would obviously be a requirement of a "social networking" application, so it's something that we'll be considering carefully, especially as we want to build in distributed social networking protocols, in this case we are thinking of supporting foaf.

@Aveu - I'm not sure about the js on the redirect, that's just the link that google provided me with. Feel free to use the direct link.

John Griffin

social objects

kyle_mathews's picture

You're exactly right -- people socialize around objects -- shared objects are the "glue" that binds us together. For that and other reasons, I think "friending" is the wrong model a lot of the time, that "following" models much better how we actually socialize in the real world. See this great post from Bokardo - http://bokardo.com/archives/relationship-symmetry-in-social-networks-why...

There's a lot of interesting stuff that's been written about social objects. I wrote a few posts on what are social objects and how to design social networks around objects in preparation for a Drupalcon session I did at Drupalcon DC.


Kyle Mathews

Thanks for the links to those

johngriffin's picture

Thanks for the links to those really interesting blog posts. I agree that allowing asymmetrical relationships is often useful and I think that's the way we'll probably go when we come to add relationships.

John Griffin

@johngriffin, I am wondering

ajayg's picture

I am wondering if there is any update on this that you don't mind sharing with us.

Hi Ajay, Unfortunately this

johngriffin's picture

Hi Ajay,

Unfortunately this project has fallen by the wayside at the moment due to a combination of factors; we couldn't secure funding for it, we started building in D7, and the fact that Drupal Commons promises to deliver a lot of what has been discussed here.

I'm personally most interested in getting support for some distributed social networking protocols into Drupal, specifically oStatus. I see us as the ideal platform to be a pioneer in this space but we're already lagging behind, see Buddypress for example!

John Griffin

Drupal Social Networking Distributions

leontong.brightlemon's picture

Hi Ajay

I run BrightLemon (http://www.brightlemon.com) where John worked, and was active on this thread, while we spent time on a Social Networking/Online Community Drupal Distribution. We have been building large social networks with Drupal for a number of years - primarily for Education and Charity - and are in the process of collating the best elements of all of those projects to give back to the Drupal Community. We have the added advantage of being involved in the strategic side of our online communities and so we know what works (and what doesn't) when building sites like these.

By using Features recently (as recommended by Ronald Ashri who works with us - thanks Ronald) we have managed to take a big first step. However - as we have found - creating a distribution for general release and usage is a lot more work.

Drupal Commons is great. I think they have the generic Ning-like market well covered there. However we are certain that there is room for social distributions with an additional layer of functionality (such as the distributed angle John mentioned) or which address specific needs - either for particular sectors (such as Education, Charity etc.)

We'll keep you updated...

Is there any competition analysis around DrupalCommons

JBI's picture

Did Acquia or any beta tester make a product competition analysis with http://commons.acquia.com main alternative.

In Drupal I would think "OpenAtrium" http://openatrium.com/
In OpenSource "BuddyPress" http://buddypress.org/
In MS " Share Point" http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/
In Saas "jive" http://www.jivesoftware.com/ for business and http://ning.com for general public

If not we can try to do that together...

I like the idea of a

coderintherye's picture

I like the idea of a comparison table or cost-benefit analysis of this space.

Where do you draw the line on competition though?

For instance, in the OpenSource space I would add: GNU Social - www.gnu.org/software/social/ and in the SAAS space I would add StackExchange - http://stackexchange.com

Drupal evangelist.

There's a GSOC project for

yoroy's picture

There's a GSOC project for this, too: http://groups.drupal.org/node/60743.

Hi, Would be great to have an

Summit's picture

Would be great to have an professional looking drupal social networking install profile, with all possible drupalmodules in this field combined ! I think the next coming years it is not about the tooling, twitter/facebook etc.. but in nicely getting this structured for the user.
A sort of second wave of information overflow is starting, and may be drupal tools can help getting this stuff organised?

greetings, Martijn

Finally, we have done it

websule's picture

Finally, We have done it!

Yes, we have created a drupal installation profile for highly configurable social networking solutions. Now, we are confused about how to monetize it? please follow that topic on: http://drupal.org/node/863776

I would be providing the working demo of the same very shortly. Looking forward towards community feedback.


Follow post?

jp2020's picture

Sorry, new to the Drupal community. I find this post very interesting. How can I subscribe to it?


Commons is here!

johngriffin's picture

For those who missed it (where have you been?!) - Drupal Commons now has an official release and contains most of the functionality that we've been talking about in this thread. Nice one Acquia!


John Griffin

Yes,but Drupal Commons is not

pinkonomy's picture

Yes,but Drupal Commons is not exactly a social network.
No photos upload,no videos etc.
There is an article that explains this..

Any thoughts?

Drupal Commons is a

coderintherye's picture

Drupal Commons is a distribution of Drupal. Thus you can just add whatever modules to it that you need to meet your needs.

Drupal evangelist.

unleash's picture

hello - Drupal Commons looks great - any new efforts on this!

can we test and see some demos out there. We love to see some more.

Shed a light on this.



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