Archive for Web 2.0

5 Free And Open Source Social Network Platforms – Alternatives To The Closed Facebook

Social Networking sites are just invading our life. Everyone is just getting in to Social sites like Facebook or Twitter. More than 300 million people use Facebook. Soon it will be doubled or tripled. So, what really happens to your personal data? Numerous blogs have enlightened us on what Facebook possibly could do with our data. Facebook, Twitter do give public data to famous search engines, they can give it to advertizing companies and so on. Facebook changes privacy settings often, it tends to forget your privacy settings driving you crazy. You see totally an unknown person’s photos on your friends update, when you like fan pages on Facebook, it automatically becomes public. There are so many such loop holes. What if you didn’t want your data to be on their server at all? or you wanted an open source version of Social Networking software? Popular social sites like Facebook are not open…they are closed and you do not have any control over it. If you want to setup your such Social Networking sites for your college or family or Company, there are some options. Some of them are listed below.

social networking


The privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network. It is not yet complete but actively being developed by 4 young designers from NYU Courant Institute with a mission to emerge as an alternative to closed Social Networking sites like Facebook where the privacy is not honored. Private data gets public easily on closed social networks. Diaspora* is a personal web server that stores all of your information and shares it with your friends. Diaspora knows how to securely share your pictures, videos, and more. When you have a Diaspora seed of your own, you own your social graph, you have access to your information however you want, whenever you want, and you have full control of your online identity. Once we have built a solid foundation, we will make Diaspora easy to extend to facilitate any type of communication, and the possibilities will be endless. Read more.


Social networking in a box. Build a social network for your company, school, sports team or niche community all based on the power and flexibility of WordPress. BuddyPress is completely free and open source. Unlike hosted services, BuddyPress allows you to stay in control of your site and create a totally customized, unique experience. It can be used to build a campus wide social network for your university, school or college, an internal communication tool for your company, a niche social network for your interest topic, or a focused social network for your new product etc. Read more.

BoonEx Dolphin

Open-source, independent, downloadable, scalable, customizable, full-featured, free software for building social networks, dating sites and web-communities. Loaded with video chat, recorder, video player, forums, groups, events, video messenger, mailbox, desktop app, video sharing, photo sharing, iPhone app and much more. Build your own business or advance your hobby with Dolphin! Read more.


Ellg is a powerful open source social networking platform. It provides everything to create a robust social networking site like Profiles, News feed, Activity feed, Groups, Web APIs, Blogging/Micro Blogging etc. Read more.


Pligg is an open source CMS (Content Management System) that you can download and use for free. Pligg CMS provides social networking software that encourages visitors to register on your website so that they can submit content and connect with other users. Pligg has support for Groups, Private Messaging, Commenting, Profiles, Templates, customizations etc. Read more.

* Image Source – Unknown

NoSQL For Dummies – Rise Of Non Relational Database Engines

Apache has recently released Cassandra 0.6 – Large Scale distributed database system formerly maintained by Facebook but currently supported by Apache foundation. Cassandra is popular, which is being used by biggies like Rackspace, Twitter, Digg etc. Is this a threat to MySQL and the like? Cassandra now comes with built-in support for Hadoop (The Apache Hadoop project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing) image

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL (NoREL or Not Only SQL, it is misleading) Movement is catching up and is on the rise to become the most popular emerging next generation database concept in 2010. NoSQL is nothing but rapidly evolving new breed of databases that are clashing with the hoard of traditional relational database systems like MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL etc; they are

  • Non Relational
  • Distributed, Large Scale Databases
  • Horizontally Scalable (More nodes/servers)
  • Open Source
  • Schema Free
  • Eventually Consistent (BASE – Basically Available, Soft state, Eventual consistency)
  • Easy Replication Support
  • Simple API support

Why Non Relational, Distributed Databases?

Relational Database Systems have been around for a while powering many giant e-commerce websites etc. The essence of relational database is non redundancy relations and non redundancy is desired. Database tables are designed in such a way that redundant data is minimized (Normalization). But, this actually becomes a problem for huge database as we need to maintain data redundancy across servers, nodes etc. So, it is not possible to have efficient redundancy and parallelism in relational database systems (at least not trivial). This leads to single point of failure.


So, for huge databases running into multiple terabytes, relational database is not good. This is the reason, why Amazon, Google, Facebook started working on Non relational databases. In Distributed databases, information is distributed in a redundant manner across ring of identical computers/nodes or servers. Data will be queried with  key map. This reduces the risk of single point of failure. Data is redundant and stripped across nodes. So changes in one place, eventually will be propagated (asynchronous) to other nodes, thus the name Eventually Consistent.


Notable Proprietary implementation of NoSQL

  • Amazon’s Dynamo – Distributed storage system, unlike relational database system, it does not break data in to tables. Instead all objects are stored and looked up via a key map.
  • Google’s BigTable – BigTable is a compressed, high performance database built on Google proprietary platform. BigTable is an extremely large DBMS capable of handling several thousands servers, nodes with several petabytes range of database size.

Notable Open Source implementation of NoSQL

  • Apache’s Cassandra – The Apache Cassandra Project develops a highly scalable second-generation distributed database, bringing together  Dynamo’s fully distributed design and Bigtable’s  ColumnFamily-based data model.
  • HBase – HBase is the Hadoop database. Use it when you need random, real-time read/write access to your Big Data. This project’s goal is the hosting of very large tables — billions of rows X millions of columns — atop clusters of commodity hardware.
  • Hypertable – Hypertable is an open source project based on published best practices in solving large-scale data-intensive tasks. It tries to bring the benefits of new levels of both performance and scale to many data-driven businesses who are currently limited by previous-generation platforms.

However, it should be noted that all the technology discussed here applies to very large scale database systems. Our usual small scale web systems still continue to use RDMS like MySQL. It is more than sufficient to handle couple GBs of data and non distributed environment.

Via [ReadWriteWeb] and other sources

Update multiple Social Networks At Once! End of frustration of logging in to multiple Social Networks!

Well, there are so many Social networking Sites around us and it is becoming extremely difficult for everyone to keep track of updates on these and managing them. imageMany of us are looking for a centralized way of updating the status on micro blogging/social networking services like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, Ning, friendster, LinkedIn etc. There are 2 such services  that are worth trying out. and They are extremely simple and let you update your status on countless number of social networking and micro blogging sites across the globe, no matter where you are located.

image can post your status updates from web, mobile, SMS, email or 3rd party applications through their APIs to more than 45 social networks!


image lets you update your social networks from anywhere, Via email, IMs, Mobile phone, 3rd party Apps, They have a special toolbar and much much more to simplify to manage your growing list of social networks.



TripIt – How to Organize All Your Travel Plans in One Place For Free?

TripIt is an Online Service that lets you keep all your travel plans in one place and in a a very easy form that is sharable with friends. The idea is very simple;

  1. Build your itinerary – Email TripIt ( your travel plans—airline, hotel and more—it doesn’t matter where you bookimage

  2. Get Organized – TripIt organizes your plans in a master travel itinerary that’s easy to share and access

  3. Stay informed – Automatically monitor your TripIt itineraries and get alerts about any travel delays with TripIt Pro (not Free)

The amazing thing is TripIt can recognize those travel confirmation emails from different Airliners, Hotel Reservation Conformation, Rental Confirmations etc and make a master Travel Itinerary.

TripIt can automatically import confirmation emails from more than 250 booking sites and travel agencies, including the top sites for booking airline, lodging, rental car, rail and cruise reservations.

See Supported Sites for more.

TripIt will create a TripPlan

A TripPlan is a single page with all your trip details. Organized by day, it’s a step-by-step guide to the things you’ve planned, plus notes and photos you want during the trip. A TripPlan is like an itinerary, but better. In addition to organizing your flights, lodging, rental cars and other travel plans, it also includes weather, maps, directions and more.

You don’t even need to create an account with TripIt, it will create one when you send emails to and there after it will maintain the record based on your email id.

A good tool if you travel a lot or organize travel for others. It will make sure that you have a hassle free traveling. Best Selling travel assistants for iPhone, like TravelTracker is capable of integrating with TripIt.

Quick And Easy Way To Create Web 2.0 and CS3 Style Icons In Three Simple Steps

If you are looking for the quickest way to create a simple Web 2.0 or CS3 style icon, then here is an Adobe AIR app for you. Icon Generator is the simplest app we have seen so far that lets you create Web 2.0 or CS3 style icons in just three simple steps.

You can choose between CS3 or Web 2.0 style.


1. Pick the Color


2. Type the character


3. Save it!


It creates four different sizes of icons.


One of the draw back is there is no provision to provide the name of the icon. So each time after you save, you need to rename the files to prevent overwriting of files.

Also, we would have liked if there was an option to select the shape. However this works great for simple icons. So download and enjoy it!

Download the application from here. Its free and quick to install!

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