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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Software for new social site
software choice

 10:36 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am in the planning phase of a new social networking site and am reviewing software to build the community with.

This project will be encouraging members to upload photos and video clips, along with the other standard features. Also, working to find the right solution to be able to offer features that allow free and paid areas. (i.e. some forums free, some not).

Iím interested in integrating vBulletin.

My thoughts now are choosing between Social Engine and PHP Fox. I believe both can integrate vBulletin.

So, I am looking for any insights into either of these directions, or others that I should be looking at. And what the software might operate like when there are 1,000, 10,000 or 50,000+ members?

Thanks, in advance for any help.


[edited by: ergophobe at 10:00 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2009]
[edit reason] URLs delinked [/edit]



 9:53 pm on Nov 30, 2009 (gmt 0)


Sorry Dan. I've recently built a social site based off Drupal, but it doesn't integrate with vBulletin and it's hardly an out of the box solution.


 3:30 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is a tough thing to figure out.

Can probably get either of these software packages up and running for less than $2,000 with all the mods and design that I want to do, but I am concerned about the responsiveness of the script when the site gets busy.

Was looking for someone that has already been down this road.




 4:20 pm on Dec 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Somebody must have used these.

In any case, the main thing I would want to look at is what sort of caching schemes are available.

Because you're running apps that are social and therefore primarily for members and updated in real time, you can't of course cache static pages. But some apps might cache pieces of pages so that you only generate the unique content on each page view.

And some technologies allow you to use memcached (on Apache in general), APC (with PHP), et cetera to benefit from RAM caching of scripts. Look at the list of memcached users on their front page and you'll see why it's important for social platforms, regardless of the app running the site itself. Used by Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube, Craigslist, Digg.

So regardless of what you settle on, I'd keep an eye out for that.


 7:17 am on Dec 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have used vbDrupal to integrate Drupal and vBulletin successfully. It works very well to use vB's user management combined with the full power of a Drupal portal.

Now that vB has released its own portal software I'm not certain of the future of vbDrupal. It has worked nicely for me for several years.


 4:38 pm on Dec 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

It takes some work to get Drupal to give you Facebook-like functionality. There's a book that offers a guide called something like Drupal Friends?

It takes a fair few plugins and some jumping through hoops, but it the end result is fairly nice. Not as off-the-shelf as the solutions mentioned in the first post.

I haven't paid attention, but from the ads, I gather VB is adding a lot of capability and it made me wonder if VB alone would be enough.


 9:02 am on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

The vB CMS is still a beta. They haven't released the final code for it yet, but it does look promising.


 12:35 pm on Dec 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for everyone's messages.

Looks like I will going with socialengine and integrating vbulletin, but not sure yet if it will quite as seamless as I need it to be.

Part of the site is free and part is paid. Likewise, part of the forums will be free and part not. Just trying to find out if the groups created with the paid subscription will carry over to the vB integration.

Anyone tried this yet?



 9:16 am on Jan 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have tried both phpfox and social engine - it was a waste of time in my case. Whenever I needed to change ANYTHING I had to contact their support and it was taking days for them to reply.

I'm currently waiting for results at [uniprogy.com...]
Hopefully they will come up with something cool.


 4:34 pm on Jan 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

One suggestion I would make is ning. I use it for a 2500 member (and growing) community, i've been pretty happy with the software, functionality, customisation etc.

As its all hosted by ning I dont have to worry about servers etc

It does have forum functionality but it wouldn't be to the standard of vbulletin, however, my view would be its either a social network or a forum, I've seen very few instances where people have successfully combined both.

However, if people do have examples I would love to see them :)

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