Wikia Launches Open Source Social Network Tools

Marshall Kirkpatrick has pointed out that Wikia has launched the open source version of their SocialProfile toolset. This toolset provides the basic features of a social network profile including “avatars, friending, foeing, user board, board blast and basic profile information.” If you install MediaWiki on your servers, you will immediately have access to the social network features. Alternatively, you could hack up your own social network with the social network database structure and functions provided by MediaWiki.

This is a similar model to Ning who has opened up their code and has made it available for others to use. While I’m not quite sure that having a wiki is critical to all social networks, having social features embedded within them definitely is. While I’m not sure that this new release is as big of a move as Marshall Kirkpatrick has hyped it up to be, I definitely think that the movement toward open sourcing all of the social components of a site definitely is.

This is part of the overall trend toward data portability and I think that we will see other companies make similar moves. The concept is simple, you can use “our” company’s data to make your tools more useful as long as you don’t compete. If you ever come within striking distance of us, we will force you to sign an agreement stating that you will not compete. I have a feeling that this is what Facebook will do when they eventually open up the social graph. I’ll leave that concept for another post. For now, check out some screenshots of the SocialProfile service:

Upload Photo
Upload Photo Screenshot

Profile Page
Profile Page

Edit Profile
Edit Profile

User Board
User Board Screenshot