A social engine is a platform that manages user profiles, privacy, social graphing, and enables us to run social applications on it. It also provides a software development framework and API to those who wish to develop social applications, games, and social engine enhancers. When you think about it, a Social Engine is a lot like a web based secondary operating system! You get OSX, Linux, Windows and then you can install and run applications on them. They also provide application development APIs, manage user accounts, permissions, and much more.
I’ve seen companies who try imitating the features of a social network ( user profiles, social graph, … ) using Drupal, WordPress but the end result though mimicking a social network’s behaviour is not a platform which can run social applications. They are also solutions carved out of granite that look shiny and nice at the beginning, but they turn into nightmares to maintain, because the idea of having a well supported infrastructure was not considered from the beginning.
Naive clients who think building a social network is yet another web design project totally fall for that, and wonder why they end up with clunky websites that look nice, but don’t operate as they should, and they are impossible to upgrade as the market trend changes.
So please don’t shoehorn a CMS into a social networking project. Understand what a social engine is, and make sure your Social Anything project is going to be developed using one.
[tags]socialengine, cms, social web, social networking, rmdstudio[/tags]