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Overview of CMSs suitable for launching a microblogging service

Overview of CMSs suitable for launching a microblogging service

Microblogging, which was just a gimmick not that long ago, has become a practical tool for daily use, an integral part of many people’s lives. As in case of social networks, there is a single leader, twitter. However, there’s always a place for niche services — topical, professional, corporate, etc. Naturally, you could ask where you can get a suitable platform for launching a microblogging service. Well, in this article I’m going to overview some solutions that I consider worthy of your attention.

StatusNet


(Known as Laconica before August 28, 2009.)

Developed by Canada-based StatusNet, Inc., which has established the website identi.ca to provide Twitter-like services. The engine is written in PHP (requires version 5.2.3 or better), and the database is MySQL, though PostgreSQL can be used too.

In my opinion, the engine is very nicely coded and provides for high performance. There is a built-in support for Memcache (data caching) and for Sphinx (full-text search within the website). User interface is available in many languages; multi-language support is implemented using a gettext extension, which must be installed at the web hosting site. Website appearance can be easily changed using themes; the standard version includes nine such themes.

User support is excellent. There is a wiki and a developers’ blog. Besides, you can find many online how-tos on installing the platform on various hardware.

There are many useful features, such as:

  • Registration by OpenID and by a FaceBook account
  • Posting via Jabber, SMS (text messages) and e-mail
  • Automatic shortening of URLs longer than 140 characters (the limit for one message)
  • The Context function, which allows one to see a full discussion with all subtopics on one page
  • Attachments for messages
  • Desktop clients for various operating systems
  • Jabber bots for posting, searching, shortening long URLs, etc.
  • Remote subscription to other servers’ messages
  • Various tags for messages
  • Friends, grouping of friends, black list, etc.
  • Opportunity to change a profile’s theme.

Website: http://www.status.net
Demo: http://www.identi.ca

JaikuEngine

Established in 2006, initially it was just a service. A year later, it was acquired by Google. The Jaiku source code was opened in 2009. The project is written in Python using the Django framework and is intended for use with Google’s AppEngine only.

Actually, JaikuEngine offers the same features as Twitter does, and is very similar to it. There’s an API for developers too.

Website: http://code.google.com/p/jaikuengine
Demo: http://www.jaiku.com

YONKLY

The only microblogging CMS written in ASP.NET.
Yonkly can be used in many ways, either as a microblogging platform or as an ordinary CMS. In the latter case, there are two options: a free, open-source version, or a paid version (with additional features).

Website: http://www.yonkly.com
Demo: http://www.yonkly.net

JISKO

Runs on PHP and MySQL. What I liked is the availability of many styles and their easy changing. Besides, Jisko can be integrated with Jabber, as well as with various services for shortening URLs. Multiple languages are supported.

Website: http://www.jisko.org
Demo: http://www.jisko.net

NanoGrabbr

The developers say that the engine’s prominent feature is the opportunity to publish external RSS and Atom feeds in microblogs.

The CMS is written in PHP, and MySQL is used as database.

Website content can be sorted by type: texts, images, videos, citations, links, and grabbed stuff (tumblelog features).

Website: http://www.nanograbbr.com/en/index.html
Demo: http://demo.nanograbbr.com/english/

OpenMicroblogger

Written in PHP, with either PostgreSQL or MySQL used as database. The developers are enthusiastic with their work, and the distribution package has been downloaded 5000+ times, so the CMS is pretty popular.

Besides microblogging, the engine provides such an exotic feature as storing uploaded files in a computing cloud (Amazon’s well-known web service is used for that).

The author definitely paid great attention to the software architecture, which should be very good for the engine’s future. He stresses such benefits as RESTful organization of URL and controllers, the engine’s own ORM, Rails-like MVC implementation, etc.

Website: http://www.openmicroblogger.org
Demo: http://www.openmicroblogger.com

GelatoCMS

Also written in PHP/MySQL, with AJAX heavily used. There’s a handy GUI installer and an admin panel.

The following types of messages are supported:

  • Chat
  • Link
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Image
  • Plain message

More features can be easily added with plugins.

Website: http://www.gelatocms.com/

Alas, I couldn’t find any demo website, so here’s a screenshot of the admin panel:

Bilboblog

Another small CMS, which provides only very basic microblogging features.

Microblog

Not a feature-rich platform, but I do mention it as it’s developed in Russia.

Reactor

I’d like to make a special note of the Reactor engine. I also call on its developers to make an official website — in my opinion, it would be very popular!

Demo: http://www.joyreactor.ru

Conclusion

If you need a free CMS, you can find some good stand-alone solutions. Each of them can be used for solving a specific task, depending on the scale and complexity.

Thanks for reading.

  • Splashnology Editors,
  • November 21, 2009

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