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Advice sought

Anyone out there done any work with social networking software?

I got to say, this is a subject where I am a complete tyro. I have a Facebook page, I am even friends with NickM on it, but I’m damned if I can see the point. Every time I go have a look at it my mind fills with an overwhelming sense of ‘Why? What is the purpose of this thing?’

Anyway, so that is how ignorant I am.

Right now I have a project where I have to set up a social networking site, and don’t ask why – no answer will be forthcoming. I have had a look around and the relevant packages look to be Elgg, Jomsocial, Dolphin and, maybe, Buddypress.

Anyone want to comment? Anyone set up one of these things and willing to do a little handholding when it comes to the selection? I really and truly have no idea what is and what is not important when it comes to use and features.


  1. Lynne says:

    I’d love to help you out, Cats. Unfortunately, I’d sooner give up my first born than network socially.

    Good luck.

  2. NickM says:

    I really don’t get FB etc either. So sorry. Can’t help. I’d say one thing though Cats: if you want advice from them what know then you are going to have to at least outline a bit about the nature (if not specifics) of said project because I’d bet dollars to donuts that those packages/systems/whatevers of which I know nothing are almost certainly horse for courses if you know what I mean.

  3. CountingCats says:

    It’s just a generic social networking site, Facebook like, if that does as a description.

  4. Odin's Raven says:

    I saw an article, I don’t remember where, that explained the purpose of Facebook is to collect data for facial recognition software, which will help the state snoopers.

  5. NickM says:

    Alas for me no it doesn’t do as a description. Might I ask in the most general terms why not just tell your client to set-up a FB group? I’m fairly sure you can set-up closed ones so, say the boss arranging a work’s night out isn’t pelted with nonsense about someone’s ex-wifes milkman’s brother-in-law updateding their status to “completely wasted on Bali LOLZ!!!” Or whatever.

  6. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    Cats –

    I cannot help you directly as I share a similar opinion of social media. However, have you had a root round over at Slashdot? That sort of question is asked often over there and they to get loads of informed replies. If no one has already asked the question you could ask there yourself – they do allow first-time posters.

  7. Tim Newman says:

    If you’re posted to various shitholes around the world every 3 years or so, and in between you are frequently sent on business to weird, random places, then Facebook is pretty damned handy.

  8. RAB says:

    then Facebook is pretty damned handy.

    In what way Tim? My wife has an account but we never use it. I send emails to my friends wherever I am in the world I can get an internet connection in.

    Sorry Cats, no help from me, you know my computer skills already. :-)

    By the way Cats, we both seem to be on something called Linkedin. What is that all about?

  9. Simon Jester says:


    LinkedIn appears to be about people maximising their employment prospects:

  10. RAB says:

    Thanks Simon.

    Well I’m all maxed out with employment at the moment, so I’ll let that one lie dormant too. The things friends dob you into.

  11. Peter Risdon says:

    None of them will please a client who wants ‘Facebook’. But Buddypress might be fave. Avoid anything even distantly related to Joomla.

  12. CountingCats says:


    What is your gripe about Joomla? I am a systems/networking engineer, NOT a web designer, and have used this as a way to knock up a few sites quickly.

    For my purposes it works fine…..

  13. Tim Newman says:


    It basically saves you having to write individual emails or send group emails (which I always thought were naff anyway). If your friends are scattered around the world, and often very busy, it is much easier to check a few statuses, look at a few photos, and get a general idea on where people are and what they are up to than to send each one an email every few months, or to reply to each one you get. I also tend to post if I am going to be in a certain city for a certain period, and see if anyone is passing through. I’ve caught up with one or two friends just by chance in Paris that way.

  14. Shawna says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

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