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IsOurPlace is an experimental multi-network platform using open-source software.
It is an attempt to run an unlimited number of independent multisite social and content management networks from a single common software base.
Most social networks, including the very large ones, are a single network. The software and scaling challenge to incorporate huge numbers of seperately functioning networks within one database is immense and this is a many year project.
The ultimate aim here is to test and then to provide, on a non-profit basis, a robust and easy to use multi-network software platform for voluntary and non-profit organisations world-wide allowing easy to use design and management of their websites and to include, if desired, social network and forum capabilities.
For content management IsOurPlace relies on the open-source WordPress probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
For social networking it relies on the open-source BuddyPress which allows any kind of social network on a WordPress site, with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, notifications and more.
For forums it relies on the open-source bbPress which allows the easy setup of group discussion forums inside a WordPress/BuddyPress powered site.
IsOurPlace and its sister sites are each testing multi-network installations within each of which are separate communities with separate permissions and separate groups with separate activity streams, separate forums, and separate blogs with individual plugins and individual themes yet all in one installation and in one database using shared software. Membership within each installation is shared but can be constrained via permissions.
and Then ?
If successful the cross funding of local voluntary and educational organisations by local commercial organisations that might use the platform is a distinct possibility. Advertising revenue-sharing, particularly when local stats can be easily segmented and compiled, is another.
The days of the unsharing economy with a few big actors sweeping up every dime of advertising revenue may well be short-lived. Advertising spend might well be shared with the communities subjected to it.
Fluency in any of the following ordinary languages would be a real bonus Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malay, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Standard Chinese, Telugu, Urdu, or Wu.