Social media networks have been around for years, but there doesn’t appear to be any signs the craze will be dying out anytime soon. Many people practically live their lives through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any number of other social networks that are out there. Social networks can be enjoyable, but some may feel like the whole public social media thing is a bit too public. Their solution is to find a more private solution, one that can be used just by them, their friends, and their family. The same idea applies to companies, which may feel like conducting business interactions on something like Facebook doesn’t provide the necessary privacy and insulation they want. Whatever the reason, the growth of cloud computing has increased people’s capability to create their own private social networks.
Making your own social network carries with it a number of advantages. The first, as mentioned above, is better privacy. Some people enjoy being able to post pictures and status updates that the rest of the world can react to, but for those seeking a less outgoing way to still maintain contact with close friends and acquaintances, the usual platforms may not work out. Outside of social contacts, businesses have a lot to gain from a private social network, especially when staff is made up of remote workers. The whole trend of remote work continues to grow, so when companies can provide a platform that aids in communication and collaboration for workers that may be located all over the world, physical distance doesn’t seem like a big hindrance to production.
Private social networks also give people the chance to craft a network of their own design. Facebook, the most popular social media network, has its fair share of fans, but most people will find at least one or two things they think should be improved. With a custom-made social network, you get to decide how best to use it and what should be included. With cloud services coming in a variety of types, you’ll be able to find the right service that fits your needs and wants, leading to a more satisfactory social network experience.
The idea of starting your own social network may sound daunting at first, but there are actually a number of really helpful tools and platforms available through the cloud that can help in the effort. If you’re looking to start a private social network for a business, for example, using something like Yammer is a good way to go.
Yammer has a number of features like an always updated activity stream, file sharing system, and private messages that helps employees stay in contact. Businesses can even form individual groups on the platform, ensuring each division’s communications stays in their relevant areas. The network is kept private through limiting membership by making sure only those people with a company email address can sign up for an account. Other business-related networks, like Bitrix24, also provide lists of unique features, giving you a range of possibilities to choose from.
These may be tools for businesses, but what about having a private social network for friends and loved ones? Luckily, plenty of options are available for that as well. Many people are familiar with WordPress already, but few know that WordPress can actually be used to build a social network. More specifically, plugins can be used to turn the site into a social network, though it does require you hosting your own WordPress site. Those plugins include BuddyPress, WordPress Mingle, WordPress Symposium, and more.
The plugins allow users to create their own profiles and avatars, privately message each other, form groups, build forums, and much more. It may be a bit simplistic when compared to some of the major social networks out there, but you’ll be able to create something for like-minded individuals, whether you’re researching innovative big data solutions or following a favorite sports team.
All of these capabilities are at your fingertips thanks to the advances made in cloud computing and to another extent in software defined storage. Over time, even more advancements will be made, giving you more power to create the type of social network you want. You no longer have to be limited by what Twitter or Instagram have to offer. Creating your own network can be a rewarding and satisfying experience.
~ Rick Delgado