WordPress As A Social Networking Platform

Dec 12th, 2007 | By | Category: General, Podcasting Software

Anne Zelenka at GigaOm has an interesting take on the idea of using WordPress as a social networking platform, looking at DiSo, Chris Messina’s project to build a social networking platform based on WordPress:

“In contrast to social networking, blogging offers a person-centric way for individuals to come online. A social network like Facebook gives you your own place online, but it‚Äôs not really your own place. As Copyblogger Brian Clark recently said in a blog post, ‚ÄúFor me, there‚Äôs really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating ‚Äòuser-generated‚Äô content via a social networking application. That‚Äôs like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.‚Äù

Clark was responding to an ongoing conversation launched by blogger and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod, who proposed that blogging is far more important to him than social networking. Bloggers including Stowe Boyd and Darren Rowse seconded the idea. This growing disenchantment with social networking and return to blogging suggests that in the future we could see a migration, at least among tech bloggers, towards more distributed social networking ‚Äî along the lines of what Messina envisions.”

In addition to Messina’s project, another WordPress social network project to watch is Andy Peatling’s BuddyPress. The goal for BuddyPress is to completely transform a vanilla installation of WordPress MU into a fully functional social network platform.

The idea of opening up social networking so that anyone can build a social network makes sense. Web publishing has evolved from being something only big organizations could do to something that everyone can do. Audio and video publishing are doing the same thing, evolving into things that anyone can do. It looks like building social networks will follow this path, too.

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