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How do I Choose the Best Social Networking Software?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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Social networking websites have exploded across the Internet over the last decade. These sites are designed to connect people through social groups and ideas. Most social networking webs sites are developed using special software, which makes creating a networking site easier. Choosing the best social networking software typically depends on the budget and desired functionality for the website. There are many free versions available, but most advanced features require commercial products or custom software development.

Social networking theory is the art and science involved in community communication. It is based on degrees of separation between each individual and his relationships with other groups or people. Each individual has a specific node that represents his profile. That node has ties to other nodes. As groups are added into a networking design they will have unique relationships based on hobbies, schools, work, people, or places.

Social networking software includes the basic controls that manage images, instant messaging, videos, and music file storage on the Internet. It also provides a method of capturing user profile information. These controls are typically available on most social networking websites. The networking software provides developers with configurable modules that can be easily added to websites in a drag-and-drop manner.

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There are many free versions of social networking software available on the Internet. These produces are based on open-source standards, which make them a good option for budget-conscious entrepreneurs. Some examples include spree, isocial and Mahara. When choosing the best free product, it is important to consider the software language and expertise of the development team that will be using the product. Most of the free products available today are written in the languages of PHP, Java® or Ruby on Rails®.

Most commercial social networking software provides a good development environment for managing the code of the website. Selecting the best commercial product has the same constraints as free software. It should be purchased based on the expertise of the development team. Buying a product that requires the team to learn a new programming language will be unproductive. Most software packages require custom code, which warrants having a language that is understood by the developers of the organization.

Many private social networking sites have popped up on the Internet in the past few years. These sites are designed for groups that would rather have more privacy then is typically available on general group sites. Some examples include families, government agencies, and church congregations. Social networking software can be used to build both private and public networking sites.

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Discuss this Article

anon953270
Post 3

I think there is some information missing about the variety of social networks available today including photo based social networks, video sharing, art sharing, private social networks, professional social networks, social networks for different hobbies and geographic-based - local social networks.

anon336046
Post 2

I think Quora is a very good social network. I think so because instead of making you waste your time watching cute pics of cats and dogs, it introduces me to new ideas and ways of thinking.

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