Similar to social network creator Ning, Wall.fm allows you to construct your own social network without any prior web programming knowledge.
Wall.fm is the simply the hosted version of an open source social networking software called Oxwall (similar to how wordpress.com is the hosted version of the wordpress.org software which this blog runs on). Wall.fm has free hosting options and paid ones, which you will need to decide upon based upon the features you want. With that said, this post will actually be about the Oxwall software.
Oxwall was released as beta software on August 4, 2010. Back then, it was a VERY simple community software with one theme and only featured the following plugins: blogs, groups, links, photos, and videos. Very bare bones. Since then, Oxwall has matured greatly, and now includes 5 complex themes, 49 plugins, and a much more stable platform. You can see a demo here with the plain theme.
Now that I have given you a brief history lesson on Oxwall, I think that I should describe all of the amazing features that Oxwall has to offer. For the purpose of simplicity, I have composed a list of my favorite features. They are as follows:
- simple forum
- video platform with embed-only capabilities
- photo albums & upload
- newsfeed with status updates and news from around the network (has “like” button and allows comments)
- blogs with archives and rich text formatting
- a link wall/system simliar to Digg
- groups with pages, forums, and newsfeed
- events (private or public) and RSVP
- virtual gifts that users can send one another (customizable by admin)
- profile pages with comment wall, activity widgets, and custom widgets
- comment walls on all content
- custom pages
- mailbox (send and receive messages)
- user dashboard (customizable)
- user roles
- Facebook connect (to login and share content cross-platform)
- instant chat (only if self hosting or with premium wall.fm plans)
- user credits
- contact importer for Google, Facebook, and Yahoo
- send and receive email notifications
- status updates
- 5 themes
- custom CSS
Whew! That’s a LOT! That list should give you an idea on whether or not Oxwall will suit your needs.
I have successfully made numerous community websites on Wall.fm. I have found that it is usually an easy experience and that it should be used to focus on specific groups of people (clubs, people who play a certain game, a hobby, etc.) rather than a general social network. If you are interested in making a divine social network using the Oxwall software, here are the links:
As always, enjoy!