You're it! (in a German accent) Create and customize a social network with Ruby-based Tog

Posted by maggie.hunsucker March 12, 2009


If you’re looking to add some social elements to your site, you have quite a few options at your disposal (see A December social about being social).  Of course, we’re partial to open source tools and applications.  The price is always right (i.e. free) and the robust development community keeps the upgrades coming.

Our latest contender is Tog.  Tog is a Ruby on Rails-based social platform that provides the basic building blocks of a social network, as well as an extensive library of add-on components.   Translation?  You can create and customize your community to spec – or add social functionality to an existing Ruby application – either way, it’s deliciously easy.  Most solutions force you to spend your time and your budget reworking the core product.  Tog gives you the features you want and ease of implementation that comes with Rails, including:

  • profiles
  • open/private groups
  • abuse report
  • tag clouds
  • ratings
  • internal messaging
  • blogs
  • photos
  • CMS
  • news
  • Q&A

You may recall a similar Ruby product called Community Engine.   While we don’t play favorites, Community Engine is more of an out-of-the-box solution.    If you’re looking for a basic community application, Community Engine is your guy.  But, if you want something you can gear to your specific needs or want to create a niche community, we recommend Tog.

Leery of getting what you paid for? There are other benefits to going the open source route. With products like Tog and Community Engine, the accompanying open source community manages product upgrades and the introduction of new functionality, so maintenance costs tend to be low.

Chances are, you don't know Ruby on Rails from Adam, but you're probably using a Ruby application (Basecamp and Twitter, to name a few).


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