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A Social Network is a special type of network that inter-connects people.

It is something that existed in human civilizations for hundreds of years.

The Internet has given a new dimension to these people-connections by introducing Online Social Networks and the Social Network Service concept.

A simple in plain English description of Social Networking will help put the importance of this concept in its proper perspective.

Popular online social network services include FaceBook™, LinkedIn™, Twitter™ and MySpace™. Even the popular YouTube™ Video sharing service is considered today as a social network.

The potential benefits that Social Networks bring to our everyday lives is enormous.

People benefit as individuals from social networking by connecting with others that will become or that will introduce them to a new mate, a friend, a new employer, etc.

But more and more businesses are also exploring their own social networking prototypes, as they believe that this will increase their bottom line by attracting more customers and will also help them better understand what their customers needs.

But some top-notch analysts have their doubts about this trend and how it may in fact benefit businesses.

But why build your own social network on your own site, instead of just using some existing service?

Some key pros and cons of creating your own "social network" vs using some of the larger online services.

  • (+) You own your social networking data
  • (-) More effort needed
  • (+) Build your environment to support your specific community.
  • (+)You are in control.

One may argue that using a high traffic existing online social network will speed up membership growth compared to starting from scratch. Why not get the best of both worlds? You can use one of the many existing social integrations allowing traditional websites to interface with online social networks.

There are many additional advantages in using a Joomla!™ / Community Builder combination to create your own social network.

By using a CMS, such as Joomla, and Community Builder, you can design and deploy your own social network / community group and relevant content to support it.

With CB you can manage the membership registration process and add relevant fields to capture your specific community characteristics and include these fields in your user profiles.

CB will let your users interact and connect to form their own micro social networks and groups.

Finally you can incorporate as many additional Joomla extensions as needed from the hundreds already available on the Joomla extensions directory. Almost every Joomla extension has a CB integration plugin, so your website will have a nice integrated look.

Learn more about Community Builder. See our CB Add-ons that will help you implement your own social network website!

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