Among the software platforms seeking to provide the basic technical infrastructure for such an endeavor is "Konsort" by phpFoX — billed as "the ultimate solution for your online community."
Konsort is a suite of solutions, that unlike the hosted service provided by Ning.com (the shortcomings of such hosted services now being all too apparent to some of its former users), is installed on a client's own web server; providing the site owner with complete control over the system — and the website's future.
Boasting a long list of features, Konsort offers site owners and site visitors a wide range of basic options, including: AJAX capabilities, plus modules for video, music, galleries, blogs, polls and a forum, too. Classifieds and quizzes; upcoming events and social bookmarking; multi-language capabilities, tags, RSS, Pro Themes and more are included; as are user profiles, an Instant Messenger, live chat and Shoutbox, which will keep visitors connected with one another.
A small PHP script is available for download from the phpFoX website that will test your web server's configuration for its compatibility with all of Konsort's requirements. For those starting from scratch, the company also offers a hosting service, tailored to the product's requirements.
Konsort is unencrypted, a feature which some prospects will find comforting, as it helps guarantee the system's longevity for any site based upon it. At the time of this writing, more than 1,400 modules, plug-ins and hacks are available for Konsort, as are more than 80 themes and styles, and 33 language packs, from the company's support site.
A full license is available for $300, with monthly licensing offered too. A number of options and premium modules can be purchased to further customize and extend Konsort-based websites: such as a $75 "powered by" notice removal fee; $49 installation service; and a $99 subscription module that interfaces with CCBill.
Adult website operators seeking a simple tube script may find this application to be overkill in some regards and not as optimized for adult tube needs as a solution tailored for that specific use — but the compelling range of features offered by Konsort in a "one stop solution" makes it a candidate for every prospective social network site operator's consideration.
Online demos, numerous screenshots and more information are available at www.phpfox.com.