A friend and client of mine asked me about SNEmpire today. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but a quick Google I discovered it’s a $500 social networking script. The sales page actually looks pretty good, but I went to one of the sites running the software (imsocialize.com) and was less than impressed by the user interface presented there.
Instead of recommending a buy, I pointed my friend to several open source social networking scripts that might server her needs:
The demo site and the showcase of sites running this script are very impressive.
This looks like another contender. It’s got a pretty basic interface, but from a user standpoint, the simplicity is great.
Mahara is a little less like Facebook, and a little more like LinkedIn. If your users are all about business and achievements, this might be the best solution for you.
A bit basic, but like Elgg, it’s got lots of potential.
A great looking site right out of the box.
While each of these will require some customization, and they don’t come with tutorials, and maybe that makes all the difference to my friend. But making sure the foundation of my business — the software — is rock solid would be more important to me than spending time on the customization and learning curve were I planning a social networking site.