Moshi moshi! Create a social network using the open source Insoshi

Posted by tom klein May 1, 2008


We’re big fans of open source tools to do just about anything. From operating systems like Linux or content management systems like Drupal, there are lots of options.

Now there’s one for social networks too, called Insoshi. While it’s not for the non-technical, it can let you create your own social network for a very low price – zero. All you need to do is download and configure the software, then customize it to work for your customers. If you want to see what it looks like, you can just sign up and play around to get a good idea. Here’s my profile with one silly blog post to boot.

The current version of Insoshi has the following features:

  • Activity feed
  • Personal profiles with photo upload and comment walls
  • Internal messaging system with read/replied/trashed messages
  • Contacts list
  • Blogs with comments
  • Discussion forum
  • Search for profiles, forums, and blogs
  • Admin panel with site preferences
  • Option for email verification and activity notifications

If you’re looking to engage your customers in a social network, here’s a low cost way to get started.

This site was developed using Ruby on Rails. It is a web framework that, according to its fans, makes it easier to create web applications quickly. And, daresay, elegantly. Popular sites like Basecamp and Twitter were built using Ruby on Rails.

Insoshi is the inspiration of Michael Hartl (programmer, entrepreneur, author of RailsSpace: Building a Social Networking Website with Ruby on Rails, graduate of Harvard and a PhD. from Cal Tech!). In other words, a good sign here is that the driving force of the open source project wrote the book on the subject.


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