What pieces of software can I use to start a community with?

Mike Whitfield Sr. Software Engineer, EPAM, Google

March 13th, 2014

Surely this exists.  What software do you recommend?  Last I looked, there were forums, BuddyPress, and so on.  I want Facebook-in-a-box with low to no overhead.  I don't want cloud hosted like Ning.  Thoughts?


March 13th, 2014

Can you not leverage existing social platforms via their APIs and OAuth? This smells like it might reinventing the wheel to me.

Chris Cinelli

March 14th, 2014

Drupal and Joomla are the typical answers. A lot of hostings provide a one click install.
There are also a few good Wordpress plugins to consider as an alternative.
Elgg was not so good when I tried a few years ago.

If you want more a a forum kind of discussion, there are the good old PHPBB and vBulletin. The new entries are Vanilla forums and Discuss hat are pretty good.

I am not sure what you are trying to create and what kind of interaction you would like.

in my humble opinion,  today to bootstrap a community and keep it active the best is a Facebook Group:
  • You have mass of people there.
  • It is easy to invite people that you have already in your network.
  • People receive suggestion to join group where their friends are.
  • People see the read notification every time they are on Facebook.
If you just need a splash page: and 
If it is more event based:

CB Coach LinkedIn Group: Corporate Executive Coaches

March 31st, 2014

I can not tell everyone how long I have searched for this information.  But not knowing what to call it was a hindrance. I have an professional association and I've been searching for a moderately priced platform where members can share information and at the same time allow corporations searching for executive coaches to access a members directory.
I have reviewed every suggestion presented and have narrowed it down to the following companies:
a) phpfox
b) vbulletin
c) socialengine
 My question is does anyone know if there is a non-bias comparison sheet for all of the products across all companies?

Climb Lean Climb Lean School of Starting Up

June 8th, 2018

Would you like to use a new tool for building a community? For community building for a complex product, you need tools that have capabilities more than Reddit or Slack or just a simple FB group. Since this is a collaboration between you and your target audience, you need tools that would enable this productively and effectively, The tool is ready functionally and if you wish to make use of it, sign up at

Kiran Karidi Looking for CTO for

Last updated on June 9th, 2018

using Phpfox, you can mimic Facebook in just few minutes. There are lots of useful plugins to add extra features as well.

Rohit Talwalkar Uber Stack Software Engineer

March 13th, 2014

If you're looking for an internal site, I was at a company that managed great things with ClearSpace.  That was about five years ago and it's turned into something much more robust since then:


March 13th, 2014

Check out  -- we can assist with customization as well.

David Fierbaugh Senior Mechanical Engineer at Microsoft

March 13th, 2014

Have you looked at Diaspora?


March 13th, 2014

A Yammer external network, maybe? It's really a good private Twitter/Facebook "knockoff".

Jim Lundy CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research Inc.

March 13th, 2014

Yammer, Jive Software, IBM Connections,  Salesforce Chatter, Tibbr (Tibco) and many others are options. If don't want to go Cloud, you would look at Jive or IBM.

You can do a quick test by signup at Yammer to see how easy it is. Others are not as easy to setup. 

There are many others, these are the commercial (non-open source) options.